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Construction of bridge across Pangong Lake is illegal: MEA

Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, said, “As you are well aware India has never accepted such illegal occupation.”

Published: 06th January 2022 06:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th January 2022 10:10 PM   |  A+A-

MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi (Photo | Twitter)/ANI)

MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi (Photo | Twitter)/ANI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday clarified that the bridge being constructed by China to connect the North and South Banks of Pangong Tso is illegal.

Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, said, “As you are well aware India has never accepted such illegal occupation.”

As regards reports about a bridge being made by the Chinese side on Pangong lake, 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, Bagchi said.

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.

India has been taking all necessary steps to ensure that our security interests are fully protected. “As part of these efforts, the Government has also, in the last seven years, increased significantly 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 armed forces. Government remains committed to this objective.” Said Bagchi.

Bagchi also made remarks on renaming of places in Arunachal Pradesh by China saying that “India had conveyed its views on such a ridiculous exercise to support untenable territorial claims.”

“Calling Tuting as “DouDeng” or River Siyom as “XiYueMu” or even Kibithu as “Daba” does not alter the fact that Arunachal Pradesh has always been and will always remain an inalienable part of India.” He added.

We hope that instead of engaging in such antics China will work constructively with us to resolve the outstanding friction points in areas along the Western Sector of the LAC in India-China border areas.

Further, Bagchi termed the action of China's Political Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy writing letters to Members of Parliament on their participation in an event on Tibet “unacceptable”.

MEA Spokesperson said, “The substance, tone and tenor of the letter are inappropriate. The 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.”

We expect the Chinese side to refrain from hyping normal activities by Hon’ble MPs and complicate further the situation in our bilateral relations, Bagchi added.



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