NEW DELHI: The Indian Government has taken note of the construction of a bridge done by China on Pangong Lake which they have done to link the banks on the North and South.
The minister of state in the ministry of external affairs V Muraleedharan on Thursday said that the government has taken note of a bridge being constructed by China on Pangong lake.
“This bridge is being constructed in areas that have continued to be under the illegal occupation of China since 1962. The government has never accepted this illegal occupation,” the minister said in a reply.
The Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral part of India and we expect other countries to respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, added the Minister.
As reported by The New Indian Express earlier, China is constructing a bridge roughly 25 km ahead of LAC on the Chinese side where the gap between the two banks of the lake is around 500 meters. The bridge as per the sources will reduce the cross-country distance, which is at present of approx 200kms, by 150 km and the 12 hours travel time will be around one-third of it. The Chinese can mobilise their troops from the North bank of the lake to the South Bank swiftly using the bridge.
On the north bank, one end of the bridge is close to Khurnak Fort, and the other end will bring it closer to the Moldo Garrison which is on the south bank. The Pangong Tso is a 135 km long high altitude (around 14,300ft) lake with around 45 kilometers on the Indian side of the LAC.
As regards disengagement in the remaining areas along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh, India and China have maintained dialogue through both diplomatic and military channels. The last Corps Commanders Meeting was held on January 12 in which both sides agreed to continue the talks to resolve the issues.
“Our approach in these talks has been and will continue to be guided by three key principles, that, (i) both sides should strictly respect and observe the LAC; (ii) neither side should attempt to alter the status quo unilaterally; and (iii) all agreements between the two sides must be fully abided by in their entirety.”
The government has noted reports of renaming some places by China in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. This is a futile exercise that will not alter the fact that Arunachal Pradesh has always been, is and will always be an integral part of India, the minister said.