After Chinese state-sponsored media shared a video of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) unfurling the Chinese flag at the Galwan Valley, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday, 6 January, pointed out that the Indian media houses have repudiated these claims.
"The media reports on this are not factually correct. Media houses in India have released pictures contradicting the claim," the ministry said.
Earlier in the week, Shen Shiwei shared a 45-second clip that allegedly captured PLA personnel unfurling China's flag at the Galwan valley, where a clash between the Indian Army and the PLA in 2020 had led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and strained the ties between the two countries.
Following this, photos of the Indian Army hoisting the national flag at Galwan Valley on New Year day flooded social media on Tuesday. These images were shared by leaders of the ruling party, among others.
Opposition parties had attacked the central government over the issue, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi saying that "only the Tricolour suits the Galwan valley" and that China must be given a befitting reply.
'Monitoring Pangong Bridge Construction Closely': MEA
The MEA also responded to the reports of the construction of a bridge on Pangong Lake, and said:
"Regarding reports of a bridge being made by China on Pangong Lake, GoI is monitoring this closely. This bridge is being constructed in areas that have been under illegal occupation by China for around 60 years. Govt taking steps to ensure our security interests are protected."MEA
A satellite imagery shared by geo-intelligence expert Damien Symon on Monday suggested that China was building a bridge across the Pangong Lake in the Chinese territory of eastern Ladakh.
The bridge, which will reportedly serve to join the northern and southern banks of the lake, will boost China's road connectivity in the sensitive border region, thereby facilitating the speedy movement of the nation's army and weaponry.
On China's Letter to Indian MPs
In response to a question on the Chinese Embassy's letter to Indian MPs over their attendance at a reception hosted by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in December 2021, the MEA replied, "We have seen reports about the political counsellor at the Chinese Embassy, writing letters to Honourable Members of Parliament on their participation at an event. The substance, tone and tenor of the letter are inappropriate."
"The Chinese side should note that India is a vibrant democracy and Honourable Members of Parliament as representatives of the people undertake activities as per their views and beliefs. We expect the Chinese side to refrain from hyping normal activities by Honourable Members of Parliament and complicate further the situation in our bilateral relations," the MEA said.
'Arunachal Has Always Been Part of India': MEA
Commenting on reports that the Chinese government has named some of the regions in Arunachal Pradesh, the MEA said that this is a "ridiculous exercise to support untenable territorial claims".
The MEA said, "Calling Tuting as "DouDeng” or River Siyom as "XiYueMu” or even Kibithu as "Daba” does not alter the fact that Arunachal Pradesh has always been and will always remain an inalienable part of India. We hope that instead of engaging in such antics, China will work constructively with us to resolve the outstanding friction points in areas along the Western Sector of the Line of Actual Control in India-China border areas."