New Delhi, May 20
Responding for the second time in as many days to reports of a second bridge being constructed across Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh by China, the MEA on Friday said the government was creating infrastructure along the border areas to not only meet India’s strategic and security requirements but also to facilitate the economic development of these areas.
China is building a second bridge and govt says it is monitoring the situation. A timid & docile response won’t do. PM must defend the nation. — Rahul Gandhi, Congress Leader
“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,” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
This was the MEA’s second and more detailed response to reports of a second bridge. On Thursday, Bagchi had largely referred the issue to the Defence Ministry. But Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had criticised his observations on the issue as “timid”.
Bagchi had said, “India always maintains that the area that is referred to in the reports is under the occupation of the Chinese side for decades.”
This time the reaction was more elaborate in the wake of the Opposition’s criticism. “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 illegal occupation of China since 1960s. We have never accepted such illegal occupation of our territory, nor have we accepted the unjustified Chinese claim,” he said.
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