The Union government is “betraying India” by ignoring the defence infrastructure being built by China near Ladakh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged on Friday.
“China is building the foundations for hostile action in the future,” he said in a tweet, citing a news report of a top United General general describing the construction as alarming.
India and China have been locked in a border standoff since their troops clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China had put the number of casualties on its side at four.
Last month, reports had emerged that China is building a second bridge, parallel to the one built in January around Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh. The bridge could potentially help the People’s Liberation Army to quickly mobilise its troops in the region.
Pangong Lake was one of the prominent flashpoints when border tensions between the two countries flared up in 2020. One-third of the nearly 160 km-long lake lies in India, the other two-thirds in China.
On Wednesday, United States Army’s Pacific Commanding General Charles A Flynn had described the Chinese activity across the Line of Actual Control as “destabilising and corrosive behaviour”.
He added, “I believe that the activity level is eye-opening. I think some of the infrastructure that is being created in the Western Theatre Command is alarming. And so much, like across all of their military arsenal, one has to ask the question, why.”
In response, China said on Thursday said that some US officials were trying to add “fuel to the fire” and termed it a “despicable act”.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian had said the country’s military standoff with India is “stabilising on the whole”.
Meanwhile, on the same day, the Ministry of External Affairs said that India is closely monitoring the Chinese activity in eastern Ladakh, PTI reported.
“The government is committed to and takes all adequate and appropriate measures to safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty as the developments in recent years have clearly demonstrated,” ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
On May 20, India’s foreign ministry said that the second bridge is in an area under the illegal occupation of China since the 1960s.