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No ambition to expand borders, says Rajnath

By The Assam Tribune
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New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS): India has never attacked any country and has no ambition to expand its borders, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday in the backdrop of Chinese Army holding military drill.

"India has never attacked any country, nor does it have an ambition to expand its borders. Security forces are equipped to handle any situation (at the border)," Singh said at an event organised by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

The minister said there was an ongoing deadlock in Doklam between India and China and the issue would be "resolved soon". "We need peace not confrontation."

China holds military drill: According to another report from Beijjing, China has conducted a military drill in the western part of the country. The drill was meant to "strike awe in India", a Chinese military expert was quoted as saying by the Lianhe Zaobao daily.

The drill was conducted by the Western Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The location and timing of the exercise were not disclosed.

According to the China Central Television, 10 PLA units, including aviation and armoured forces, participated in the drills. Tibet, Xinjiang, Ningxia, Qinghai, Sichuan and Chongqing comes under the newly formed Western Theater Command.

In July, the PLA had conducted a live drill in Tibet, which borders India. China has said its army is ready for a military conflict with India, whose troops are on its territory in Doklam. Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in a three-month stand-off at Doklam in the Sikkim section of the Sino-India border.

Nepal PM to visit India:In what will be his first foreign trip after assuming office in June this year, Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba will arrive in India on August 23 on a five-day visit, the External Affairs Ministry said on Monday.

Deuba will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, the ministry said in a statement.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other union ministers will also call on the visiting dignitary who will be accompanied by a high-level delegation.

"In recent years, India-Nepal partnership has witnessed significant growth in all areas of cooperation," the statement said. "The upcoming visit will provide an opportunity to both the sides for holding wide-ranging discussions on issues of mutual interest, and advancing age-old, special ties of friendship between our two countries."

Apart from his official engagements in New Delhi, Deuba will also visit Hyderabad, Tirupati and Bodh Gaya, the statement said.

The visit is significant as Deuba chose to visit New Delhi first after being elected two months back.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Nepal Krishna Bahadur Mahara had said that Nepal wants peaceful resolution of military standoff between India and China and does not want to be dragged into their boundary disputes, calling on both to maintain cordial relations through peaceful diplomacy and dialogue.

On the current Indian-Chinese standoff, Mahara said: "We do not support any of our neighbours in this case."

Indian and Chinese diplomats are regularly meeting with Nepali officials and diplomats in Kathmandu, New Delhi and Beijing to get support but Nepal has been maintaining "equidistance" over the issue.

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No ambition to expand borders, says Rajnath

New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS): India has never attacked any country and has no ambition to expand its borders, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday in the backdrop of Chinese Army holding military drill.

"India has never attacked any country, nor does it have an ambition to expand its borders. Security forces are equipped to handle any situation (at the border)," Singh said at an event organised by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

The minister said there was an ongoing deadlock in Doklam between India and China and the issue would be "resolved soon". "We need peace not confrontation."

China holds military drill: According to another report from Beijjing, China has conducted a military drill in the western part of the country. The drill was meant to "strike awe in India", a Chinese military expert was quoted as saying by the Lianhe Zaobao daily.

The drill was conducted by the Western Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The location and timing of the exercise were not disclosed.

According to the China Central Television, 10 PLA units, including aviation and armoured forces, participated in the drills. Tibet, Xinjiang, Ningxia, Qinghai, Sichuan and Chongqing comes under the newly formed Western Theater Command.

In July, the PLA had conducted a live drill in Tibet, which borders India. China has said its army is ready for a military conflict with India, whose troops are on its territory in Doklam. Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in a three-month stand-off at Doklam in the Sikkim section of the Sino-India border.

Nepal PM to visit India:In what will be his first foreign trip after assuming office in June this year, Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba will arrive in India on August 23 on a five-day visit, the External Affairs Ministry said on Monday.

Deuba will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, the ministry said in a statement.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other union ministers will also call on the visiting dignitary who will be accompanied by a high-level delegation.

"In recent years, India-Nepal partnership has witnessed significant growth in all areas of cooperation," the statement said. "The upcoming visit will provide an opportunity to both the sides for holding wide-ranging discussions on issues of mutual interest, and advancing age-old, special ties of friendship between our two countries."

Apart from his official engagements in New Delhi, Deuba will also visit Hyderabad, Tirupati and Bodh Gaya, the statement said.

The visit is significant as Deuba chose to visit New Delhi first after being elected two months back.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Nepal Krishna Bahadur Mahara had said that Nepal wants peaceful resolution of military standoff between India and China and does not want to be dragged into their boundary disputes, calling on both to maintain cordial relations through peaceful diplomacy and dialogue.

On the current Indian-Chinese standoff, Mahara said: "We do not support any of our neighbours in this case."

Indian and Chinese diplomats are regularly meeting with Nepali officials and diplomats in Kathmandu, New Delhi and Beijing to get support but Nepal has been maintaining "equidistance" over the issue.

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