After Pompeo reveals 60K PLA troops along LAC, China calls Ladakh’s UT status illegal

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New Delhi: Three days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that China has deployed 60,000 soldiers along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) against India, Beijing said that it does not recognise Ladakhs Union Territory (UT) status granted by New Delhi.

The spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, Zhao Lijian, told the media that Beijing opposes India building infrastructure in the region. He was responding to a question related to the 44 new bridges India has built near the LAC with China in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, which were inaugurated recently.

“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 areas,” Lijian told the media.

“Based on consensus, neither should take actions along the border that might escalate the situation that is to avoid undermining the efforts by the two sides to ease the situation,” he added.

Blaming the Indian side for ramping up infrastructure development along the border and stepping up military deployment “for the tensions between the two sides”, he urged India to “earnestly implement our consensus and refrain from actions that might escalate the situation and take concrete measures to safeguard peace and tranquility along the border.”

Pompeo had said on Friday, “The Indians are seeing 60,000 Chinese soldiers on their northern border”, adding that each of the three major Indo-Pacific democracies — India, Australia and Japan — are under threat from the Chinese Communist Party.

Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a face-off in eastern Ladakh since May. In June, 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a bloody clash in the Galwan Valley.

IANS