China on Tuesday called India’s designation of the region along their disputed border as a federal territory an illegal move, and voiced new objections to infrastructure construction that seems to strengthen India’s position in the area.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin also said reports of new Chinese military bases and other facilities being built on its side were “totally untrue and have ulterior motives.”
“China does not recognise the so-called union territory of Ladakh illegally established by India, and opposes infrastructure construction in disputed border areas for military control purposes,” spokesperson Wang said while commenting on India’s move to build roads along the border.
“According to the recent consensus reached between China and India, neither side should take any actions in border areas that would complicate the situation, so as not to affect the efforts of both sides to ease the situation,” Wang added, in comments posted by state-run Global Times on its Twitter handle.
Senior commanders agreed earlier this month not to add more troops along their fast-militarizing disputed border in the mountainous Ladakh region, but appear to have made no progress in disengaging their forces from the ongoing standoff as they had earlier pledged to do.
It may be recalled that Ladakh used to be a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir till 2019. On August 5, last year, the Central government revoked the special status of J&K and bifurcated the state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The bifurcation came into effect on October 31 (2019) – which India marks as National Unity Day.
The Chinese remarks came on a day when Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, said that the prevailing situation along the Line of Actual Control was “uneasy”. According to the IAF chief, a “no war, no peace” status was prevailing along the northern border amid the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh.