New Delhi, October 13: Amid the ongoing border standoff with India, China on Tuesday reiterated its objection to Ladakh being designated as a Union Territory last year. The Foreign Ministry spokesperson in Beijing said the Chinese government consider India's decision to convert Ladakh as a UT "illegal". India-China Standoff in Ladakh: 7th Corps Commander Level Talks Between Two Countries Went on For 11 Hours.
The contentious remarks were made by Zhao Lijian, the Ministry spokesperson, during the press briefing today. Apart from Ladakh, Zhao also reiterated that China does not recognise the province of Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India.
"First I want to make it clear that China does not recognise the Ladakh Union Territory illegally set up by the Indian side and the Arunachal Pradesh," the Chinese spokesperson was reported as saying by The Global Times, the state-run daily which reflects the official views of China's ruling Communist Party.
Zhao told the reporters in Beijing that border infrastructure projects undertaken by India are the "root cause" of tensions between the two neighbouring countries.
His remarks came a day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh virtually inaugurated 44 new border infra projects, eight each in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. The Chinese Foreign Ministry marked its dissent over the developmental work undertaken in the border regions which it considers as disputed.
"We stand against the development of infrastructure facilities aimed at military contention along the border area," the Chinese spokesperson added.
Update by Global Times
Concerning new bridges #India claimed to build amid border tensions, Chinese FM said Monday neither side should take any action in the area to complicate the situation and China opposes to any infrastructure constructions for the purpose of military monitoring and control pic.twitter.com/ZcxKulxK73
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) October 13, 2020
The apparent hardening of stance by China, as reflected through the statements of Foreign Ministry spokesperson, came on the day when both sides held the seventh round of military level talks in bid to diffuse the tensions in eastern Ladakh sector of the LAC.
The Indian and Chinese forces are locked in a standoff since May this year, after attempts were made by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to unilaterally change the status quo in the region.