Thursday, May 30, 2024

We don’t recognize Ladakh UT, says China, peeved at border infrastructure

China today said it “does not recognize the Ladakh Union Territory illegally set up by India,” after 44 new bridges were opened in the border areas by India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh.

Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, also called border infrastructure “the root cause of tension between the two sides.”

Zhao was reacting to the series of bridges inaugurated in India, including eight each in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.

“First I want to make it clear that China does not recognise the Ladakh Union Territory illegally set up by the Indian side and the Arunachal Pradesh. We stand against the development of infrastructure facilities aimed at military contention along the border area,” said the Chinese spokesperson.

“Based on consensus, neither should take actions along the border that might escalate the situation that is to avoid undermining the efforts by the two sides to ease the situation.”

He also said the Indian side “ramping up infrastructure development along the border and stepping up military deployment is the root cause for the tensions between the two sides”.

“We urge the Indian side to earnestly implement our consensus and refrain from actions that might escalate the situation and take concrete measures to safeguard peace and tranquillity along the border,” said Zhao.

The new bridges will facilitate faster movement of troops and weapons closer to the border, officials said.

This reaction came in the backdrop of senior military officials of the two countries meeting at Chushul in Ladakh on Monday for the seventh time. The talk lasted for more than 11 hours and ended around 11.30 p.m.

Incidentally, the joint statement after talks had no mention of China’s views on Ladakh.

Both sides agreed to “earnestly implement the important understandings reached by the leaders of the two countries, not to turn differences into disputes, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas,” said the statement.

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