China on Thursday criticised India for reportedly sanctioning a new road project in the Ladakh sector, adding that it would not help restore peace in the region, reported Xinhua. “It seems that the Indian side is slapping its own face,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying after reports claimed that India was building a road between Marsimik La and Hot Spring.

The Border Road Organisation has taken over the project after it was cleared by the Union Home Ministry, reported the Hindustan Times. The area where the road is reportedly being built is about 20 km from Pangong lake in Ladakh, where Indian and Chinese troops had clashed on August 16. “Now, the current road construction in that area by the Indian side is not conducive to peace and stability in that area,” said Hua. “It will not help with settlement of the current situation.”

Hua also accused India of being inconsistent and self-contradictory in resolving the Sino-Indian border issue. “[The] Indian side is closely following China’s road building recently but India’s action itself has proven that the Indian side says something and does another...Its words are complete contradictions to its deeds on the border issues,” she said.

Bilateral ties have been strained since the Indian Army stopped China from constructing a road in the region. New Delhi has made it clear that it will not allow China to construct a motorable road up to the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction through the Doklam plateau.

Both Beijing and New Delhi have blamed each other for the ongoing standoff at Doklam in the Sikkim sector. India and China have maintained that troops from the other country had transgressed into their territory.