India and China have been engaged in a tense standoff in the Doklam region for about three months now. There has now been an increase in bilateral tensions with India approving plans to build a road in the tense region of Pangong Lake in Ladakh. China has claimed India has “slapped its own face” by this move, stating it was not “conducive” to peaceful relations between the nations in the region.
Marsimik La to Hot Spring in Ladakh is the apparent stretch of land where the Indian Home Ministry has reportedly approved plans to build a road. Marsimik La is at a distance of about 20 km from Pangong Lake and the place where troops from India and China were into a scuffle last week. The two nations have a long standing dispute over Ladakh’s western sector and its Line of Actual Control.
Hua Chunying, spokesperson for Chinese Foreign Ministry stated, “It seems that the Indian side is slapping its own face,” while reacting to the latest development. She further added that “The Indian side is closely following China’s road building, but India’s action itself has proven that the Indian side says something and does another.”
She went on to blast India on the move saying that the region where India plans to lay the road is not “delimited,” adding that both sides had agreed to hold their peace until all border disputes were dissolved.
The dispute escalated three months ago when India stalled China’s plans of constructing a road in Doklam which is located smack in the middle of the tri-junction of China, India and Bhutan. Even Bhutan had raised objections to China’s road construction plans in its territory.
New Delhi had objected to China’s road building activities as the Chinese road in Doklam is in close proximity to its Siliguri corridor which connects India’s Northeast region to the rest of the country. The de-facto 3,488 km Indo-China border is divided into east, middle and west regions.