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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today asked border guarding force ITBP and governments of Himalayan states to remain "very vigilant" against Chinese transgression along the Sino-Indian border saying such incidents take place due to perceptional differences. Addressing a first-ever meeting of chief ministers of five Himalayan states, Singh also asked Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh governments to undertake developmental activities along the 3,488-km long Sino-Indian border so that people living in these areas do not have to migrate. "Due to perceptional differences, there have been transgression by the Chinese PLA in the past. Such incidents have come down now. Sometimes armies of both the countries come face to face which we call face-off.
Such incidents are resolved through the existing mechanism," he said at the meeting. Later, at a press conference, the home minister said India's relations with China is "good" and all differences are being sorted out through bilateral discussions. The meeting comes days after India refused to participate in China's Silk road project 'One Belt, One Road' conference in Beijing and a month after the diplomatic tussle over the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh. Chief ministers of Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh Trivendra Singh Rawat, Pawan Kumar Chamling and Pema Khandu respectively and representatives of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh attended the meeting. "As we are aware Indo-China border is undemarcated, we have to be very vigilant while guarding the borders. The ITBP has been guarding the Indo-China border since 2004. They are performing their duty with great courage and alacrity," he said. The home minister said inhospitable conditions near the border makes patrolling extremely difficult and in spite of these odds the security forces were doing a great job. He hoped that future action plan on border security will be chalked out after analysing key outcome of independent patrolling along the boundary. Singh said the problem of connectivity in border areas pose several challenges which needed to overcome. The home minister said thinning of population and migration from the border areas is a cause of concern. "We need to strengthen basic infrastructure in border areas so that people don't migrate to other places looking for better opportunities," he said. The home minister described people living in border areas as "strategic assets" saying welfare activities for them must be carried out.
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