‘Illegally Occupied Since 1960s’, What are China’s Two ‘So-called Bridges’ in Pangong Area

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) confirmed the reports regarding the construction of a second bridge by China across Pangong Tso in East Ladakh and said that the two bridges are located in areas under illegal occupation of China since the 1960s.

Ministry of External Affairs spokeswoman, Arindam Bagshi, said India had never accepted such illegal occupation of its territory, nor had it accepted China’s “unjustified” claim or such construction activities.

The statement comes after satellite images indicated that China is building the second bridge in the strategically key area next to the first bridge, amid a long-running border dispute in eastern Ladakh.

We have seen reports of China constructing a bridge over Pangong Lake alongside its former bridge. Both bridges are located in areas that have been under the illegal occupation of China since the 1960s. “We have never accepted such illegal occupation of our land, nor have we accepted China’s unwarranted claim or such construction activities,” Middle East Airlines spokesman Arindam Bagshi said in a statement.

Bagci on Thursday referred to the bridge as “the so-called bridge”. “On the so-called bridge or I don’t know if it was another bridge – someone said it was a second bridge, or whether it was an extension or an extension of the existing bridge,” he said.

He added that the government is constantly monitoring developments affecting India’s security and is taking all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China has begun building a second bridge across Pangong Lake that will be able to accommodate heavy armored vehicles, months after completing another bridge in the same area claimed by India.

The second bridge is located more than 20 kilometers east of Finger 8 on the north bank of Pangong Lake, where India says is the point defining the LAC, according to a report in The Indian Express.

But by road, it would be about 35 kilometers from Finger 8. The area has been under Chinese control since 1958, although it lies west of India’s claim line, which, according to India, is its international border.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, the second bridge is in an advanced stage and shallow foundations and columns have emerged alongside the first bridge.

In January, when reports emerged that China had built the first bridge across Pangong Tso, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) said it was located in an area under China’s 60-year illegal occupation. According to experts, China completed the construction of the first bridge across Pangong Tso in April.

The East Ladakh confrontation started on May 4-5, 2020. India insists on restoring the status quo prior to the confrontation. India and China have held 15 rounds of military talks so far to resolve the dispute in East Ladakh. As a result of the talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year on the northern and southern banks of Pangong Lake and in the Gojra region.

India has consistently maintained that peace and tranquility throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region has been the key to the overall development of bilateral relations. Each side currently has about 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector.

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