News and Views on Tibet

India condemns bridge construction across Pangong Lake

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Map showing Chinese constructed bridge across the Pangong lake (Image tweeted by @detresfa_)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 7: The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday condemned the construction of a bridge by China across Pangong lake at the Indo-Tibet border, an area which saw several confrontations in the last few months. “Regarding reports of a bridge being made by China on Pangong Lake, the GoI is monitoring this closely. This bridge is being constructed in areas that have been under illegal occupation by China for around 60 years. The government is taking steps to ensure our security interests are protected,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

Bagchi also called out China for trying legitimise their claim on Arunachal Pradesh. “Calling Tuting as DouDeng or River Siyom as XiYueMu or even Kibithu as Daba does not alter the fact that Arunachal Pradesh has always been and will always remain an inalienable part of India.” China’s ministry of Civil Affairs last week announced “standardized” names of 15 locations in Arunachal Pradesh as their own territories.

The MEA spokesperson further slammed the recent letter issued by the Chinese embassy in New Delhi to Indian MPs who attended a reception organized by members of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile. Bagchi said he hoped that instead of engaging in “such antics, China will work constructively with the government of India to resolve the outstanding friction points in areas along the Western Sector of the LAC in India-China border areas.”

The press conference decried Beijing’s commentary on activities by Indian parliamentarians. “The substance, tone and tenor of the letter are inappropriate. The Chinese side should note that India is a vibrant democracy and Indian MPs as representatives of people undertake activities as per their beliefs,” Bagchi said.

Last week MP Sujeet Kumar, new convener for the APIPFT, told reporters, “I personally treat the letter with the contempt it deserves. It is not the first time the embassy has written to me, it has written to me several times. The embassy does not have any locus standi to write to an Indian parliamentarian. If it had any issue, it could have written to the Ministry of External Affairs. It has violated the protocol.” 

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