A day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated 44 bridges in border areas, Beijing said it opposes infrastructure building in the area and it does not recognise the Union Territory of Ladakh which has been "illegally" established by India, according to several media reports.
As per NDTV, Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, asked to react to the series of bridges inaugurated in India, including eight in Ladakh and eight in Arunachal Pradesh, said, "First I want to make it clear that China does not recognise the Ladakh Union Territory illegally set up by the Indian side and Arunachal Pradesh. We stand against the development of infrastructure facilities aimed at military contention along the border area."
As per a report in The Times of India, the Chinese foreign ministry added, "Based on the two sides' consensus, neither should take action that might escalate the situation. That could also undermine efforts to ease the situation."
As per News18, Zhao also accused India of being the "root cause" of tensions along the border. This, he said, was because "India has continued to enhance infrastructure construction and troop deployment in the disputed areas over a period of time". He urged India to take "practical actions" for peace and tranquility in the border areas.
On Monday, Rajnath said that after Pakistan, China is also creating a dispute at the border "as if it was part of a mission". The defence minister was speaking after inaugurating the bridges built in strategically key areas of Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
A majority of these bridges are expected to significantly improve movement of troops in areas along the border with China in Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh sectors, officials said.
On Monday, India and China also held the seventh round of high-level military talks with the sole agenda of finalising a roadmap for disengagement of troops from all the friction points in eastern Ladakh. However, no breakthrough has been achieved to defuse the situation.
This also comes just days after US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, slamming Beijing for its "bad behaviour" and the threats it poses to the Quad countries, claimed that China has amassed more than 60,000 troops on India's northern border. Pompeo made the remarks after the foreign ministers from the Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad group, the US, Japan, India and Australia, met in Tokyo on Tuesday in what was their first in-person talks since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a stand-off in eastern Ladakh for over five months.
With inputs from PTI