The Indian government has taken note of the bridge being illegally constructed by China on Eastern Ladakh's Pangong Lake, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday, 4 February.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, said:
"The Government has taken note of a bridge being constructed by China on Pangong lake. This bridge is being constructed in areas that have continued to be under the illegal occupation of China since 1962. Government of India has never accepted this illegal occupation."
"Government has made it clear on several occasions that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral part of India and we expect other countries to respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," the reply noted.
The response comes nearly a month after satellite imagery shared by geo-intelligence expert Damien Symon indicated that China may be 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.
The Ministry of External Affairs further said in its response on Friday that the government was working towards disengagement in the remaining areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and that India and China have maintained dialogue through both diplomatic and military channels.
"Our approach in these talks has been and will continue to be guided by three key principles, that, (i) both sides should strictly respect and observe the LAC; (ii) neither side should attempt to alter the status quo unilaterally; and (iii) all agreements between the two sides must be fully abided by in their entirety," it stated.