Fact Check: Is China building a second bridge at Pangong Tso?
New Delhi, May 20: Amid the border standoff, reports are rife that the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is constructing a second bridge on their side at the Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh.
Reports claimed that such a bridge would facilitate faster mobilization of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops in case of a conflict. The bridge was about 20 km from the LAC. Photographs of the construction were ported by Damien Symon, a geospatial intelligence researcher, on his Twitter handle
The news of the bridge comes as India and China have held several rounds of military talks to resolve their faceoff in Ladakh, but in vain.
However, reacting to the reports, the MEA said "we have seen reports on this bridge or a second bridge... We are monitoring the situation. Of course, we always felt it was occupied...Talks are on with the Chinese side."
"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 the illegal occupation of China since the 1960s. We have never accepted such illegal occupation of our territory, nor have we accepted the unjustified Chinese claim or such construction activities," said MEA in a statement.
"We have made it clear on several occasions that the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral part of India and we expect other countries to respect India's sovereignty and territorial integrity," it added.
"In order to ensure that the nation's security interests are fully protected, Government has stepped up development of border infrastructure especially since 2014, including construction of roads, bridges, etc," it said.
"Government remains committed to the objective of creating infrastructure along the border areas to not only meet India's strategic and security requirements but also facilitate the economic development of these areas. And of course, 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," the MEA concluded.
China building a second bridge at Pangong Tso.
Indian government always felt it was occupied and is monitoring the situation