Amid concerns over reported Chinese border violations, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Thursday said Indian armed forces were capable of defending the country's frontiers.
"India's borders are safe. Indian armed forces are capable of defending its frontiers," Krishna told IBN7 news channel.
Krishna stressed that as "mature" and "powerful" neighbours, India and China should respect each other. But the "integrity of India's sovereignty will certainly have to be respected" and the "integrity of borders have to be safeguarded", he said in an interview.
India and China have held 13 rounds of talks to resolve their boundary dispute. But there has been little progress with both sides reiterating their stated positions.
Alluding to the border dispute between the two countries that led to war in 1962, Krishna hoped that the negotiations will continue and an amicable settlement will be found some day.
Krishna dismissed China's objections to the Dalai Lama's proposed visit to Arunachal Pradesh later this year, saying the Tibetan leader was "free to go anywhere in India".
"Arunachal Pradesh is a part of India and the Dalai Lama is free to go anywhere in India," said Krishna. "The only question is he is not expected to comment on political developments."
The Dalai Lama has sought the Indian government's permission to visit Tawang, a monastery town in Arunachal Pradesh, which is claimed by China.
The Tibetan leader plans to go there in November to inaugurate a hospital for which he had donated Rs 20 lakh ($40,000).
The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. His Tibetan government-in-exile is based in the Indian hill town of Dharamsala but it is not recognised by any country.