The spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Zhao Likjian, announced on Tuesday that China does not recognize the Ladakh Union Territory which is illegally set up by India. The spokesperson was addressing a press briefing in Beijing.
China does not recognise Ladakh Union Territory
“First, I want to make it clear that China does not recognise the Ladakh Union Territory, illegally set up by the Indian side and Arunachal Pradesh,” he said during his regular briefing. “We stand against the development of infrastructure facilities, aimed at military contention along the border area, ” he added.
He said that based on the two sides’ consensus, “neither side should take actions along the border that might escalate the situation that is to avoid undermining the two sides’ efforts to ease the situation”. Zhao further pointed out that for some time, the Indian side had been ramping up infrastructure development along the border and stepping up a military deployment that he claimed was 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 tranquility along the border,” he added. The new bridges will facilitate faster movement of troops and weapons closer to the border, he claimed.
The spokesperson further highlighted how India has opened a series of new bridges. “Many of them provide all-weather access to its disputed border with China,” he added. Around eight bridges were opened in Ladakh province, eight in Arunachal Pradesh and four in the Himalayan region.
Zhao also called border infrastructure development “the root cause for the tension between the two sides” and said neither side should take action that might escalate tension. News of the bridges emerged as senior military officials of India and China met on Monday for the seventh time to restore calm after several recent confrontations. The talks lasted for more than 11 hours and ended around 11:30 pm, reports say.
Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a face-off in eastern Ladakh since May and tension peaked in June when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the line of duty in a clash with the Chinese. Last month, shots were fired in the air more than once as the two armies came face to face at Pangong Tso.
China reiterates it does not recognise ‘illegal’ Ladakh UT
Two weeks ago in Beijing, China had said that it does not recognise the “illegally” constituted Ladakh Union territory, adding that it was opposed to India building military infrastructure in the border areas.
The Chinese foreign ministry said neither India nor China should engage in activities in the border region that could complicate the situation, brushing aside its own infrastructure-building by saying it was on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Beijing also denied reports that said it had “built new military bases on or facilities along the LAC are completely false descriptions driven by ulterior motivesword/s missing”.
Responding to a question on India building a high-altitude road network in Ladakh, foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said: “China has not recognised Ladakh union territory illegally set up by the Indian side. We are opposed to conducting infrastructure development for military purposes in the border area.”
India’s strengthening of its infrastructure in the region comes amid the worst border tension with China in decades in eastern Ladakh, where border troops from the two countries have been locked in a faceoff since May.
“Based on the two sides’ consensus, no side should engage in the border areas in any activities that might complicate the situation to avoid undermining two sides’ efforts to ease the situation,” Wang added.