Beijing, September 29
China on Tuesday voiced its opposition to India undertaking infrastructure development for military purposes in the border areas of Ladakh, and maintained that both countries should avoid any activities that might complicate the situation upsetting the consensus reached between them to ease the situation.
“China has not recognised Ladakh Union Territory illegally set up by the Indian side,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a press briefing here while replying to a question by a western media journalist that India was prioritising construction of high altitude road network on its border with China in the Ladakh region.
It may be recalled that when China first expressed its opposition to India’s move to create a separate Union Territory of Ladakh, a day after the state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two union territories on August 5, 2019, the then External Affairs Ministry spokesperson had said India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise.
“We are opposed to conducting infrastructure development for military purposes in the border area. 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 efforts by the two sides to ease the situation”, Wang said.
To another question on reports that China has carried out massive development of border infrastructure, Wang said reports released by “some institutions” stating that China has built new military bases on its side is “completely false”.
“First some institutions once released the so-called information on new military bases or facilities China has built on its side. Such reports are completely false. They are driven by ulterior motives,” he said.
“Second China consistently and strictly abides by the agreements signed with the Indian side. We are committed to maintaining peace and stability along the border with India and at the same time we firmly safeguard our sovereignty, territorial integrity and security,” he added.
Wang said for a long time China has been conducting activities on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and they have always complied with relevant agreements.
“We hope the Indian side to work for the same purpose, together with China to achieve the cooling of temperature on the ground and to prevent adding complex factors to the concerted efforts by the two sides to ease the situation,” he said.
India and China are locked in a nearly five-month-long border standoff in eastern Ladakh.
After marathon 14-hour talks between India and China at the Corps Commander level on September 21, both sides released a joint statement saying the two countries had decided to stop sending more troops to the frontline in eastern Ladakh.
The joint statement had also stated that both sides will enhance communication to avoid misunderstandings and also implement the five-point consensus reached by their foreign ministers S Jaishankar and Wang Yi on the sidelines of the SCO meet in Moscow on September 10. — PTI