China has no locus standi commenting on Ladakh, J&K: MEA
The Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir are integral parts of India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement on Thursday. The statement comes after China claimed that Ladakh and J&K have been "illegally" set up by India. China had said that it does not recognize the two UTs after India inaugurated 44 key bridges along its borders.
'Ladakh, J&K have been, are, will remain India's integral parts'
MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, "The UTs of Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir have been, are, and would remain an integral part of India. China has no locus standi to comment on India's internal matters." Srivastava added, "Arunachal Pradesh is also an integral part of India. This fact has also been clearly conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions, including at the highest level."
China objected to India's inauguration of 44 key bridges
On Monday, India inaugurated 44 key bridges to improve the movement of troops in areas along India's border in J&K, Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Sikkim, and Himachal Pradesh. China, which has been involved in a months-long border row with India since May, commented on the development saying that India's border infrastructure projects are "the root cause for tension between the two sides."
Ladakh, Arunachal illegally set up by India: China's Foreign Ministry
"China does not recognize the so-called Union Territory of Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh illegally set up by India," China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian had said, "We are opposed to infrastructure construction for the purpose of military surveillance in disputed border areas."
India-China border tensions escalated after May stand-off
Tensions along the LAC rose after a stand-off between Indian and Chinese forces near the Pangong Tso lake in early-May. Even as both sides held talks for a peaceful resolution, another clash in Galwan Valley led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers and a disputed number of Chinese casualties. The situation continues to be tense with fresh border escalations in late-August.
Military and diplomatic level talks remain inconclusive
Several rounds of military and diplomatic level talks have been held since the May 2020 escalation, however, the issue remains unresolved. Earlier this week, both sides held the seventh round of military talks, where both sides had agreed to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible. However, similar efforts for disengagement have proven fruitless in the past.