India well equipped to handle China’s interference: Swaraj

Raj Kamal Rao

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj clarified the government’s stand on China in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. Swaraj said that India is well equipped to handle China’s interference. She added that China was trying to pose a threat by changing the status quo at the Bhutan tri-junction at Batang La.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha

She said this while replying to a question asked by Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agrawal. He asked the Minister to explain the reasons behind the ongoing conflict between India and China. He also questioned Swaraj about China’s demands on the border stand-off in Sikkim.

Swaraj explained that China was interfering in the tri-junction at India-China-Bhutan border, despite a 2012 agreement between India and China.

“The problem is at the tri-junction point at Batang La. China wants to end the status quo permanently and occupy that place. If China changes the status quo, it will be a direct attack on our security,” she said.

“China wants us to remove our forces from the border area,” said Swaraj while adding that India will demand China to go back.

“China wants India to remove its forces from its border at the tri-junction, which is not acceptable, if the situation comes- both the nations have to withdraw their forces, “Swaraj said.  

The minster also said that other countries are backing India in its stand-off with China.

“India has not said anything unreasonable” and “all countries are in India’s support,” Swaraj added.

 Samajwadi MP Naresh Agrawal in Rajya Sabha

Samajwadi MP Naresh Agrawal in Rajya Sabha

Swaraj had called an all-party meeting before the Monsoon Session and apprised the opposition of the chain of events and the steps initiated by the government.

Earlier in the Zero Hour, Congress and AIADMK members raised the issue of H1-B visas.

AIADMK’s V Maitreyan asked the government to elaborate whether US President Donald Trump and PM Narendra Modi discussed the H1-B visa issue.

Graphic representation of the location of the stand off between Indian Army and PLA near Sikkim border.

Graphic representation of the location of the stand off between Indian Army and PLA near Sikkim border.

Congress’ Anand Sharma accused the government of not raising the crucial visa issue with the United States during Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit.

“We expected that when the PM visited US, the H1-B issue would be taken up. There was no mention of the issue. I request the government of India to be sensitive to the Indian IT professionals’ issues,” Sharma said.

Responding to their queries, External Affairs Minister said that PM Modi had conveyed the concerns of Indians to US President Donald Trump without mentioning the word “H1-B”

Swaraj said that she will give an elaborate statement on the H1-B visa issue in the House and will reply to the opposition members’ questions.