The government does not allow “any interference” with its right to undertake improvement of infrastructure within the Indian territory, Union Minister V K Singh said today, dismissing Chinese criticism on India undertaking construction projects near the LAC. In a written reply to queries in the Rajya Sabha, the minister also said that India and China reviewed the situation in all sectors of the border during the 10th round of talks on boundry issues last month. The two sides agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas is an important prerequisite for sustained growth of bilateral relations, he said. Militaries of both the countries recently witnessed a stand-off at the Dokalam that lasted for more than two months. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also approved the construction of a standalone road project from Marsimik La to Hot Spring. Marsimik La in Ladakh is about 20 km from the northwest tip of Pangong lake.
In August, China warned that such a development would only worsen the then stand-off in Dokalam. Singh, Minister of State in the External Affairs Ministry, said the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry made statements critical of construction of such infrastructure by Indian near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). “The government gives careful and specific attention to the improvement of infrastructure for the development of border areas in order to facilitate economic development of these areas as also meet India’s strategic and security requirements,” Singh said. The minister said that government does not allow “any interference” with the right to undertake such improvement within the Indian territory and keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard it.
Singh noted that the tenth round of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was held in Beijing. The two delegations comprised diplomatic and military officials from each side. “The talks were held in a constructive and forward- looking manner. Both sides reviewed the situation in all sectors of India-China border and agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas is an important prerequisite for sustained growth of bilateral relations,” Singh said. WMCC was established in 2012 as institutional mechanism for consultation and coordination for the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas.