'Timing of Chinese incursion with Xi visit a mystery'

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 04, 2014 23:37 IST

The Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air Marshal Arup Raha said on Saturday that it was “mysterious” how border incursions take place during high-profile visits.

“It is always mysterious... the way incursions get timed with visits,” Raha said responding to a question on the recent incursion by Chinese troops in Ladakh when President Xi Jinping was on a visit to India.

“In diplomacy, there is little signalling done but I am not going to guess. The question that arises is why the incursion took place when the senior-most leader of their country’s hierarchy was here,” Raha, who is also the chairman of Chiefs of Staffs Committee (COSC), told reporters at the annual press conference ahead of Air Force Day that falls on October 8. He, however, did not name any leader.

Chinese soldiers intruded Indian territory in Chumar area of Ladakh last month while President Xi Jinping was here on a three-day visit. The issue was raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Chinese President, and the two sides announced that they would settle the boundary issue as soon as possible.

“There are differences in perception as to where is the LAC...This is leading to face-offs. However, our security forces are following policies...We are not giving ground to anyone,” he said.

Meanwhile, referring to the measures being taken to build military infrastructure along the LAC, Raha said that a fighter aircraft base will be set up in Ladakh, but the project would take almost five years to finish.

Another base will come up in Kargil, he said, adding that the funds will be released soon for it.

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