BEIJING: China loves to change the goalpost. Pushed on the defensive by India’s military manoeuvres, its tone became rather shrill on Tuesday when Beijing again sought to needle New Delhi by saying that it does not recognise the union territory of Ladakh ‘‘illegally established by India.’’
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remark while commenting on India’s moves to build roads along the border. ‘‘China does not recognise the so-called union territory of Ladakh illegally established by India, and opposes infrastructure construction in disputed border areas for military control purposes,” the spokesperson said.
Wang, in comments posted by state-run Global Times on its Twitter handle, further tried to sermonise by reminding India that neither side should take any action in border areas that would complicate the situation.
China had responded strongly in August, 2019, after New Delhi had stripped Jammu & Kashmir of its special status and bifurcated the state as two separate union territories of J&K and Ladakh. “China has always opposed India’s inclusion of Chinese territory in India’s administrative jurisdiction in the western part of the Sino-Indian border. This position is firm, consistent and has never changed,” the foreign ministry had said in a statement at the time.
The provocative statement from the Chinese spokesperson came even as Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, acknowledged that the prevailing situation along the Line of Actual Control was “uneasy”. According to the IAF chief, a “no war, no peace” status was prevailing along the northern border.