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India criticizes China for building strategic bridges in occupied Ladakh

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(TibetanReview.net, May21’22) – As China builds an even bigger bridge on a lake on the other side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said May 20 that “both these bridges are in areas that have continued to be under the illegal occupation of China since the 1960s”.

The bridges will cut the distance between Chinese troop positions on the north bank to a key People’s Liberation Army (PLA) base at Rutog, on the eastern end of the lake, by around 150 km, noted the hindustantimes.com May 20.

“We have seen reports of a bridge being constructed by China on Pangong Lake alongside its earlier bridge. Both these bridges are in areas that have continued to be under the illegal occupation of China since the 1960s. We have never accepted such illegal occupation of our territory, nor have we accepted the unjustified Chinese claim or such construction activities,” the indianexpress.com May 21 quoted MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi as saying in a statement on May 20.

He has said India “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 has further said that 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.”

He has said India was committed to “the objective of creating infrastructure along the border areas to not only meet India’s strategic and security requirements but also facilitate the economic development of these areas.”

The bridge is located around 20 km east of Finger 8 on the north bank of the lake, where India says is the point that marks the LAC. But by road, it would be over 35 km from Finger 8. The area has been under Chinese control since 1958, although it is just west of India’s claim line, which, according to India, is its international boundary, the report said.

The bridges are located across the narrowest section, near the halfway mark, of the boomerang-shaped, 135- km-long Pangong Tso. India has about 45 km of the lake under its control.

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