New Delhi: India on Thursday raised strong objection against the illegal construction of a bridge on the Pangong Lake in Eastern Ladakh by China, saying that the government is closely monitoring the entire situation.
Talking about reports about a bridge being built by the neighbouring country on the Chinese side of Pangong lake, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “The government has been monitoring this activity closely. This bridge is being constructed in areas that have been under illegal occupation by China for around 60 years now. As you are well aware, India has never accepted such illegal occupation.”
The official further pointed out that separately, the government has been taking all necessary steps to ensure that India’s security interests are fully protected.
As part of these efforts, the government in the last seven years has also significantly increased the budget for development of border infrastructure and completed more roads and bridges than ever before.
“These have provided much-needed connectivity to the local population as well as logistical support to the armed forces. The government remains committed to this objective,” Bagchi said.
It has been found that China has been carrying out construction work for a bridge connecting north and south banks of the Pangong Lake for at least two months now.
The bridge will allow the Chinese People’s Liberation Army gain quick access to both sides.
India had occupied the key heights on the Kailash range on the southern bank in August 2020, giving its troops a strategic advantage as they overlooked the Chinese Moldo garrison.
However, with the disengagement in Pangong in February last year, India pulled back from the heights as part of a mutual pullback plan to ease tensions.
Further, China implemented its new border law on January 1 that calls for strengthening its border defence, and development of villages and infrastructure near the borders.
Just ahead of the implementation of the law, China renamed 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh on its map.
India and China have been engaged in a border dispute for around two years now.