Thanjavur: Army was "handling" the situation arising out of the latest incursion in Ladakh, Defence Minister AK Antony said Monday after Chinese troops prevented Indians from patrolling up to LAC in Finger-VIII area where they have built a road inside Indian territory.
"Army is updated about latest position there. Whenever these kind of incidents happen in the local areas, they are handling it," he told reporters here and asserted that India can protect its national interests.
The Defence Minister was asked about the recent Chinese incursion in Ladakh where its troops have built a road five kms inside the Indian territory.
"Indian can protect its national interests. India is not the India of the past," the Minister said.
A recent incident has come to light in Ladakh where Chinese troops prevented their Indian counterparts from patrolling up to the Line of Actual Control.
The alleged incident took place near Finger-VIII area, also known as Siri Jap, on May 17, two days before Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang arrived in New Delhi after it was announced that the stand-off resulting from a 19-kilometre deep Chinese intrusion had ended.
Asked about the readiness of armed forces, the Minister said, "We are fully prepared. The nation can be fully assured that our armed forces are fully prepared."
He said countries are "showing keen interest in strengthening defence relationship with us. Everybody wants more cooperation of our defence forces, that shows gradual enhancement in our capabilities."
The Minister said he would be visiting China soon as was decided during the visit of the then Chinese Defence Minister Gen Liang Guanglie in September last year.
The Minister said that he would visit Australia, Singapore and Thailand in the first week of June.