China Building Second Bridge On Pangong Tso, MEA Confirms; How Will India Respond?
New Delhi: There have been reports of China building a second bridge on the Pangong Tso lake in eastern Ladakh. On Friday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed that a second bridge is indeed being constructed, right next to the one China had erected earlier this year.
The area where the construction is taking place is under illegal occupation and India has not accepted unjustified claims of China or such construction activities, asserted MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
How will India respond?
“The government keeps a constant watch on all developments that have a bearing on India’s security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Bagchi said, without specifying.
“India has made it clear on several occasions that 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,” Bagchi stated.
In order to ensure that the nation’s security interests are fully protected, the Government has stepped up development of border infrastructure, especially since 2014, including construction of roads, bridges, etc., Bagchi asserted.
The new bridge is near the halfway mark of the boomerang-shaped 135km-long Pangong Tso, of which India has about 45 km under its control.
The site of the bridge is around 20 km east of Finger 8 on the north bank of the lake, which is where India claims the LAC passes through. By road, it would be over 35 km from Finger 8.
The area has been under Chinese control since 1958.