The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that it was monitoring the situation after reports claimed that the Chinese side was constructing a second bridge over the Pangong Tso Lake in the Union Territory of Ladakh.
Answering a question regarding the recent bridge reportedly built by the Chinese side over the Pangong Tso Lake and whether the India-China talks were ineffective in thwarting China from building the second bridge, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the two issues of the bridge and the talks are different and are being dealt with at different levels.
"There is this issue of talks as well as the bridge. On the talks part of it, we have been pretty clear, we have been saying the same thing repeatedly, and we have had various rounds of conversations with the Chinese side at different levels diplomatic and military side," Bagchi said.
He further said, "We have seen reports on this bridge or a second bridge... we are monitoring the situation. Of course, we always felt it was occupied...Talks on with the Chinese side."
The MEA spokesperson also highlighted the talks between India and China at different levels, including during the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in March. "EAM conveyed our expectations to him... as EAM had said then, the friction and tensions that arise from China's deployments since 2020 cannot be reconciled with a normal relationship between two neighbours, so we will continue to remain engaged with the Chinese side both at the diplomatic and military levels, to ensure that the directions given by the two ministers are implemented fully," Bagchi said.
The MEA spokesperson did not clarify further on the bridge, saying that he would not be able to address the issue from a military perspective and that the Ministry of Defence would be in a better position to address the implications.
Following the rise in tensions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the summer of 2020, including at Pangong Tso, India and China have held 15 rounds of talks for disengagement to defuse the tensions in the area.