New Delhi, May 20: India on Friday said that a second bridge being constructed by China on Pangong lake is in an area that has been under illegal occupation of that country since 1960. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India has never accepted such illegal occupation of India's territory.
"We have seen reports of a bridge being constructed by China on Pangong Lake alongside its earlier bridge," he said.
"Both these bridges are in areas that have continued to be under the illegal occupation of China since the 1960s," Bagchi said.
He was replying to media queries on the matter. "We have never accepted such illegal occupation of our territory, nor have we accepted the unjustified Chinese claim or such construction activities," the spokesperson said.
"We have made it clear on several occasions that the union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral part of India and we expect other countries to respect India's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added.
In order to ensure that the nation's security interests are fully protected, Bagchi added that the government has stepped up development of border infrastructure especially since 2014, including construction of roads and bridges.
"The government remains committed to the objective of creating infrastructure along the border areas to not only meet India's strategic and security requirements but also facilitate the economic development of these areas," he said.
The spokesperson said the government keeps a constant watch on all developments that have a bearing on India's security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
People familiar with Chinese construction on Wednesday said China is building a second bridge in an area held by it around the strategically key Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh.