Defence Minister said India is constantly working on modernisation of forces and will maintain territorial integrity.
New Delhi: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China in June, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday asserted that India is "ready for any unforeseen situation" in Doklam, where the two countries were locked in a standoff situation for 73 days in 2017.
The Defence Minister added that India will "maintain" its territorial integrity.
Speaking to reporters in Dehradun, Sitharaman said, "We are alert and ready for any unforeseen situation in Doklam... we are constantly working on the modernisation of our forces and will maintain our territorial integrity."
Defence Minister Sitharaman's comments comes within a week of India's ambassador to China, Gautam Bambawale, saying in an interview to Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, that any attempt by China to change the status quo along the Indian border may lead to another Doklam-like standoff and that the best way to prevent such incidents is through candid and frank talks.
"No, I can tell you that in Doklam area, which we call close proximity or sometimes the face off site, the area where there was close confrontation or close proximity between Indian and Chinese military troops, there is no change taking place today," said Gautam Bambawale.
Earlier in March, the Defence Minister told the Rajya Sabha that China had undertaken "construction of some infrastructure, including sentry posts, trenches and helipads" close to the face-off point in Doklam.
Also Read: China building helipads, other infra in Doklam: Nirmala Sitharaman
Sitharaman's reply came in response to a question on whether satellite images have revealed that China has constructed seven helipads in Doklam besides deploying tanks and missiles in the area.
"Post disengagement from the face-off in 2017, troops of both sides have redeployed themselves away from their respective positions at the face-off site. The strength of both sides have been reduced," she said, replying to a question on the issue in Rajya Sabha.
Speaking about whether India has taken up the matter with China, Sitharaman said issues relating to the border are regularly taken up with the Chinese side through diplomatic channels and at Border Personnel Meetings, flag meetings and meetings of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, to be held in Qingdao, on June 9 and 10 and is also likely to hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.