Conflict

‘China does not recognise so-called Union Territory of Ladakh illegally established by India’, says country’s Foreign Ministry

Amid the standoff between India and China over the Ladakh border, China has said that it does not recognise the Union Territory of Ladakh and is against the construction of infrastructure there by India.

The construction in the region by India has ramped up the activities amid the protracted border standoff at Line of Actual Control (LAC).

“China does not recognise the so-called Union Territory of Ladakh illegally established by India, and opposes infrastructure construction in disputed border areas for military control purposes,” a report by Beijing based news organisation quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in response to India building roads along the border.

China has also said that it opposes infrastructure construction in disputed border areas for military control purposes, FM spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in response to India building roads along the border.

The report added that India is building a strategic highway near the Chinese border — the construction site near the hamlet of Chilling in Ladakh is around 250 km west of the area where the armed forces of both India and China are locked in the most serious confrontation in decades.

When ready, the road will provide the only year-round access to large parts of Ladakh, including the border zone. That will go some way to bringing India on par with China, which has a network of roads and helipads on its side of the border, the report Global Times said.

Quoting officials, the report said 283-km Nimmu-Padam-Darcha (NPD) highway is expected to be completed in three years.

ALSO READ: Amid ‘disengagement’ claims meetings between India-China yield no results

Meanwhile, the People’s Liberation Army heavily deployed its troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh’s Chushul district, which was followed by Indian Army changing its positions from “border management” to “border securing,” a Hindustan Times report read.

China has been deploying fighter and bomber aircraft to its bases in Tibet ever since tension over Ladakh started rising in May, The Week reported.

Earlier, China demanded that India withdraw its armed forces personnel from China-India border in order to avoid escalation of tensions.

China has reportedly built surface-to-air missiles near a lake, which is a part of the Kailash-Mansarovar.

On August, 31, Indian army informed that Chinese troops “carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo” near Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh, and they were blocked by the Indian armed forces personnel manning the area, the government said.

A Brigade Commander level Flag Meeting was later held at Chushul to resolve the issues, as per the Government of India situation update.

As New Delhi claims that both India and China will “continue to sincerely work towards complete disengagement” of armed forces personnel, talks aimed at resolving the military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, has so far yielded no results.

A Chinese diplomat reacting to the standoff in Ladakh had said that the move is linked to the Indian government’s unilateral decision to scrap Article 370 in August last year.

The move changed the laws that prohibited Indians from buying land in Kashmir, and made the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir defunct, triggering fears of demographic change in the Muslim majority region of Kashmir.

When India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5 last year, the Chinese foreign ministry had issued two statements criticising the development, including one that focused on the splitting of the state into union territories.

This statement, while urging India to be “cautious” on the border issue and to avoid “actions that further complicate the border issue”, said: “China has always opposed India’s inclusion of Chinese territory in India’s administrative jurisdiction in the western part of the Sino-Indian border.”

This was a reference to the area in Ladakh that New Delhi claims but is controlled by Beijing.

 

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