MEA says China building bridge across Pangong lake is 'ridiculous' exercise, area under illegal occupation for 60 years

At a media briefing, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also slammed China for renaming some places in Arunachal Pradesh and said Beijing should instead work constructively with India to resolve the friction points in eastern Ladakh

Press Trust of India January 06, 2022 19:08:05 IST
MEA says China building bridge across Pangong lake is 'ridiculous' exercise, area under illegal occupation for 60 years

India on Thursday came down strongly on China for building a bridge across the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh, which the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said was being constructed in areas 'that have been under illegal occupation by China for around 60 years now'. ANI

New Delhi: India on Thursday said the bridge being built by China across Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh is in an area that has been under illegal occupation of that country for around 60 years and it has never accepted such action.

At a media briefing, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also slammed China for renaming some places in Arunachal Pradesh and said instead of engaging in such antics, Beijing should work constructively with India to resolve the outstanding friction points in eastern Ladakh.

He described it as a "ridiculous exercise" to support "untenable territorial" claims.

On the bridge being built in the Pangong lake area, Bagchi said the government has been monitoring this activity closely.

"As regards reports about a bridge being made by the Chinese side on Pangong lake, the government has been monitoring this activity closely," he said.

"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," he said.

Bagchi said India has been taking all necessary steps to ensure that its security interests are fully protected.

"As part of these efforts, the government has also, in the last seven years, increased significantly the budget for the development of border infrastructure and completed more roads and bridges than ever before," he said.

"These have provided much-needed connectivity to the local population as well as logistical support to armed forces. The government remains committed to this objective," he added.

India hits out at Chinese embassy for writing to MPs

Over a week after the Chinese embassy wrote to several Indian lawmakers after they attended an event hosted by the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, India on Thursday asked the mission to refrain from hyping up normal activities by MPs and said the substance, tone and tenor of the letter were "inappropriate".

The Chinese embassy, in the letter to some of the MPs of the All-Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet, expressed concern over their attendance at the reception and asked them not to provide support to the Tibetan forces.

"We have seen the reports about the political counsellor at the Chinese embassy writing letters to honourable members of Parliament on their participation in an event,"

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing.

"The substance, tone and tenor of the letter are inappropriate. Chinese side should note that India is a vibrant democracy and Hon'ble MPs, as representatives of the people, undertake activities as per their views and beliefs," he said.

He further said: "We expect the Chinese side to refrain from hyping normal activities by honourable MPs and complicate further the situation in our bilateral relations."

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