A day after reports emerged that China was building a second bridge across Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh, India on Thursday said the area where the reported construction is being undertaken is under the occupation of that country for decades. At a media briefing, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India monitors such developments. "We have seen media reports and other reports on the so-called bridge… somebody said second bridge or if it is an expansion of the current bridge," he said.
Bagchi said India always felt that the area that is referred to in the reports is under the occupation of the Chinese side for decades. He was responding to questions on the bridge being built by China in the Pangong Tso region. Bagchi also said that India had various rounds of conversations with the Chinese side at the diplomatic and military levels and will continue to remain engaged. "You are also aware that Foreign Minister Wang Yi was here in March this year and the external affairs minister conveyed our expectations to him," he said.
"And the external affairs minister had said talking to the media subsequently then that the friction and tensions that arise from China's deployments since April 2020 cannot be reconciled with a normal relationship between two neighbours," Bagchi said. "So we will continue to remain engaged with the Chinese side, both at diplomatic and the military levels to ensure that the directions given by the two ministers are implemented fully," he added. People familiar with Chinese construction on Wednesday said China is building a second bridge in an area held by it around the strategically key Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh.
The bridge is being built amid the lingering standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies at several friction points in eastern Ladakh for over two years.