Turnaround: Now China blames India for tensions along border in eastern Ladakh  

Beijing: Well all these days, it had been India blaming China for the tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. Now there is a twist to the tale. China has openly stated that it does not like India’s decision to develop infrastructure and deployment of troops along the border. China said India is responsible for the standoff and added that Beijing is against New Delhi building military facilities close to the disputed boundary.

“For some time, India has been ramping up infrastructure development along the border. It is stepping up military deployment. It is the root cause for the tensions between the two sides,” foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Tuesday during a press conference.

“We urge the Indian side to earnestly implement our consensus. India must refrain from actions that might escalate the situation. It is the responsibility of India to take concrete measures to safeguard peace and tranquility along the border,” Zhao added.

Zhao was responding to a question on India building all-weather bridges in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. It would give Indian military easy access to the disputed boundary.

However, it should be stated here that India’s strengthening of infrastructure in border areas along the LAC has happened due to Chinese advances. Troops from both countries have been locked in a faceoff since May in eastern Ladakh. Several rounds of diplomatic and military-level talks have failed to resolve the situation.

Last week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated 44 bridges built by the Army’s Border Roads Organisation (BRO), among the 102 bridges that it is building.

Zhao reiterated Beijing’s views on both the Indian regions.

“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,” Zhao said. “We stand against the development of infrastructure facilities aimed at military contention along the border area,” he added.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of ‘south Tibet’. Beijing had reacted strongly after India divested the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir of the special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and decided in August 2019 to bifurcate it into Union territories – J&K and Ladakh.