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India urges China to respect sovereignty

NEW DELHI, May 20 (KUNA) -- India on Friday urged its neighbour China to respect Indiaآ’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi urged China and other countries to respect Indiaآ’s sovereignty and territorial integrity while responding to media queries regarding reports of a second bridge being constructed across Pangong Lake in Ladakh by China. "We have seen reports of a bridge being constructed by China on Pangong Lake alongside its earlier bridge. Both these bridges are in areas that have continued to be under the illegal occupation of China since the 1960s," he said.
He added that New Delhi has never accepted such illegal occupation of Indian territory or the unjustified Chinese claim or such construction activities.
"We have 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 Indiaآ’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.
Bagchi further clarified that his government has stepped up infrastructure development including construction of roads, bridges, etc in order to ensure that India's security interests are fully protected.
"Government remains committed to the objective of creating infrastructure along the border areas to not only meet Indiaآ’s strategic and security requirements but also facilitate the economic development of these areas," he added. Indian government also keeps a watchful eye on all developments that have a bearing on India's security and takes all necessary steps to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, he further said. Both the Asian giants are engaged in long dispute over vast territories spanning across Indian states of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh. (end) atk.rk