China continues to be in illegal occupation of roughly 38000 square km of Indian territory in the Union Territory of Ladakh for the last six decades, the government said in Lok Sabha on Friday.
The bridge is located south of a People’s Liberation Army post on the north bank of Pangong Lake and is being made at a spot where the two banks of the lake are about 500 metres apart. Once completed, the bridge will cut the distance between Chinese troop positions on the north bank to a vital PLA base at Rutog by around 150 km.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that Pakistan illegally ceded 5180 sq km of Indian home in Shaksgam Valley to China in 1963 from areas illegally occupied by it.
The Indian government has “no way recognised” the China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement and has “always maintained that it's illegal and invalid”. He added, “The fact that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral and inalienable part of India has been inarguably conveyed to Pakistani and Chinese authorities several times.”
Whether the Government has raised/ intends to raise this issue with China and if so, the details thereof along with the assessment made of the implicit security threats due to the construction of the said ground; question asked in Parliament.
Answering the question Minister for State External Affairs said, the Government has taken note of a bridge being constructed by China on Pangong lake. This bridge is being constructed in areas that have continued to be under the illegal occupation of China since 1962. The government of India has no way accepted this illegal occupation. The government has made it clear on several occasions that the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral part of India and we hope other countries consider India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
As regards disengagement in the remaining areas along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh, India and China have maintained dialogue through both political and military channels.
Our approach in these addresses has been and will continue to be guided by three crucial principles, that,
(i) both sides should strictly respect and observe the LAC;
(ii) neither side should attempt to alter the status quo unilaterally; and
(iii) all agreements between the two sides must be completely abided by in their entirety. The last round of addresses between the Senior
Commanders of India and China was held on 12th January 2022. They agreed that both sides should follow the guidance provided by their Leaders and work for the resolution of the remaining issues at the foremost as this would help in the restoration of peace and tranquillity along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh and enable progress in bilateral relation
The government gives careful and specific attention to the improvement of infrastructure for the development of border areas to facilitate the economic development of these areas and also to meet India’s strategic and security requirements. The government also keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security and takes all necessary ways to ensure that our security interests are completely protected.