Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat's comments 'unconstructive': China

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Asked about the number of ceasefire violations and deaths of Indian Army soldiers in the cross-border firings along the border with Pakistan, the Congress leader said, "Even Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat has said that the soldiers are protecting the borders and are dying".

Slamming Sushma Swaraj, Surjewala said the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement in August, saying the troops of both the countries were doing expeditious disengagement.

Earlier in the day, Congress accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj of misleading the nation over Chinese troops occupying Doklam plateau, claiming that Indian security and strategic interests have been compromised.

Meanwhile the Government on Thursday denied any change in the status quo agreed by India and China in Doklam after a prolonged face-off resolved previous year through diplomatic discussions.

Rawat said that Indian and Chinese troops now have a mechanism to effectively address their issues. "Any suggestion to the contrary is inaccurate and mischievous", he said.

"Our attention has been drawn to some reports that question the accuracy of the position stated by the Government in respect to the situation in Doklam".

"They have carried out some infrastructure development which is mostly temporary in nature", he said adding: "But we are also there, so in case they come, we will face them".

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However, local media outlets reported in October that China had continued to maintain a large military presence near the disputed region, with Indian newspapers reporting that the PLA was building permanent military barracks and maintaining a force of a thousand soldiers a few miles away from the disputed line.

He said road construction had been on in Doklam since 2000, but the Chinese soldiers had come close to Tosa Nala - which divides north and south Doklam - with a large number of manpower and equipment in June past year, just before the India-China standoff started.

India's military was merely bluffing and is not as strong as it claims, an expert said following the harsh remarks made by Indian military officers towards China.

The country is capable of handling China's assertiveness...

"Last year, India-China relations have witnessed some twists and turns", Lu had said and had referred to Modi-Xi consensus and the high-level talks since December 2017 to improve the ties.

The Indian side had also offered an olive branch by returning the two earth excavators and other equipment seized from Chinese workers in the region last month.

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