New Delhi: Hinting at China's 'deeper plan', former defence minister AK Antony has said that Beijing has suddenly changed its priority as Galwan Valley was "never a point of dispute".
"In UPA II, I found some change in Chinese priority. That is why in Depsang and Chumar... they came into our territory and after persuasion they went back. At that time, their priority was their conflict in the South China Sea. They were trying to completely bring it under their control. They were more concerned about Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang. But again, suddenly they have changed their priority," he said in an interview to Indian Express.
Calling the attack on an 'undisputed territory' unprecedented, the former defence minister said, "During UPA II, whenever there was a dispute they used to go back to their original position. But now they have changed their priority suddenly. There is something deep which we have to assess. The government needs to study this deeply."
He further revealed that during the Congress regime, India had started constructing road to Galwan Valley, saying that China's act is a sheer "betrayal".
"Over the years, the Indian Army and Chinese army have identified more than a dozen disputed areas. But Galwan Valley was never a disputed area. It is Indian territory. Our sovereignty was undisputed. During UPA II, we started constructing the road to Galwan Valley. At that time, there was no objection from the Chinese side. Suddenly, they have come in large numbers and pushed into the Indian area, which ended in the tragic martyrdom of 20 brave soldiers," Antony was quoted as saying by IE.
Twenty Indian Army personnel, including a colonel, were killed in a clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15, the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff in the region.