China talks tough, says Ladakh UT ‘illegally set up’ by India
New Delhi: After 44 new bridges in border areas were opened by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, China, in a sharp reaction, said today that it “does not recognize the Ladakh Union Territory illegally set up by India” and opposes infrastructure building in the region.
Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, as reported by NDTV, also called border infrastructure development “the root cause for tension between the two sides” and said neither country should take action that might escalate tensions.
Zhao was asked to react to the series of bridges inaugurated in India, including eight in Ladakh and eight in Arunachal Pradesh.
“First I want to make it clear that China does not recognise the Ladakh Union Territory illegally set up by the Indian side and the Arunachal Pradesh. We stand against the development of infrastructure facilities aimed at military contention along the border area,” said the Chinese spokesperson.
“Based on consensus, neither should take actions along the border that might escalate the situation that is to avoid undermining the efforts by the two sides to ease the situation.”
He also said the Indian side “ramping up infrastructure development along the border and stepping up military deployment is the root cause for the tensions between the two sides”.
“We urge the Indian side to earnestly implement our consensus and refrain from actions that might escalate the situation and take concrete measures to safeguard peace and tranquility along the border,” said Zhao.
The new bridges will facilitate faster movement of troops and weapons closer to the border, officials said.
News of the bridges emerged as senior military officials of India and China met on Monday at Chushul in Ladakh for the seventh time to restore calm after several recent confrontations. The talks lasted for more than 11 hours and ended around 11:30 pm, reports say.
The joint statement after the talks had no mention of China’s stand on Ladakh. The two sides said they agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible. “Both sides agreed to earnestly implement the important understandings reached by the leaders of the two countries, not to turn differences into disputes, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas,” said the statement.
Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a face-off in eastern Ladakh since May and tension peaked in June when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the line of duty in a clash with the Chinese at Galwan Valley. Last month, shots were fired in the air more than once as the two armies came face to face at Pangong Tso. (Agencies)
7th round of Sino-India military talks ‘positive and constructive’: Jt statement
New Delhi, Oct 13 (PTI) The seventh round of military talks between India and China was “positive and constructive”, and both sides agreed to earnestly implement the understanding reached by their leaders to not turn differences into disputes, a joint statement by the two armies said on Tuesday.
The two sides deliberated on ways to disengage from various friction points in eastern Ladakh during the nearly 12-hour-long talks in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on Monday. India and Chinese troops are locked in a border standoff in eastern Ladakh for over five months.
“The two sides had a sincere, in-depth and constructive exchange of views on disengagement along the Line of Actual Control in the western sector of India-China border areas,” the joint press statement said.
The statement said both sides were of the view that these discussions were “positive, constructive” and had enhanced understanding of each other’s positions.
“Both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible,” the statement added.
“Both sides agreed to earnestly implement the important understandings reached by the leaders of the two countries, not to turn differences into disputes, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas.”
At the first informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in April 2018, the two sides had emphasised on not allowing difference to become disputes. This understanding has featured in multiple statements by the two countries since then.
The summit had taken place months after the Doklam episode that had significantly strained ties between the two neighbouring countries