China makes provocative remark, says it ‘doesn’t recognize Union Territory of Ladakh illegally established by India’

Amid the prevailing border tension between India and China, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin made a provocative remark on Indian Union Territory of Ladakh on Tuesday.

The remark comes even as Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said that an ‘uneasy status’ prevails at northern frontiers with China at present in an apparent reference to the heightened border tension with Beijing.

As reported by the Global Times, a mouthpiece of the administration in Beijing, Wenbin stated that China doesn’t recognize the Union Territory of Ladakh “illegally established by India”.

Wenbin also said that China opposes the infrastructure construction in “disputed border areas” for military control purposes.

In an apparent response to India building roads along the border, Wenbin said, “China does not recognize the so-called Union Territory of Ladakh illegally established by India, and opposes infrastructure construction in disputed border areas for military control purposes.”

He added, “According to the recent consensus reached between China and India, neither side should take any actions in border areas that would complicate the situation, so as not to affect the efforts of both sides to ease the situation.”

Earlier, the IAF chief said at the moment “no war, no peace” status was holding along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) despite concerted efforts to end the ongoing standoff at several friction points in eastern Ladakh.

Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, however, added that the armed forces are prepared for any eventuality and that the Air Force particularly is resolved to counter “any misadventure”. “Airpower will be a crucial enabler in our victory in any future conflict,” the IAF chief said.

Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria was quick to add that the recent induction of Rafale fighter jets along with Chinook, Apaches and other aircraft fleet has given a fillip to the Indian Air Force’s tactical capabilities.

“Present security scenario along our northern frontiers is at an uneasy — no war, no peace status… The recent induction of Rafales along with other aircraft has provided the IAF with substantial practical and strategic capability enhancement,” Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said.

The remarks from Bhadauria in the backdrop of reports that the Indian Army is preparing itself for the long haul in Ladakh this winter. The Army has rushed tanks, heavy weaponry, ammunition, fuel, food and essential winter supplies to high-altitude areas in eastern Ladakh where it is engaged in a standoff with the People’s Liberation Army of China.

Military sources said last week that the aim is to prepare the force and ensure its combat readiness through the treacherous winter which lasts for some months in Ladakh. The operation has been described as one of the biggest in decades as far as military logistics are concerned.

Anticipating possible misadventure from China, the Indian Army has flown in T-90 and T-72 tanks, artillery guns and infantry combat vehicles to several sensitive locations including Chushul and Demchock sectors in eastern Ladakh.

The Army has also sent clothes, tents, food items, communication equipment, fuel, heaters and other supplies in large quantities to forward posts and mountain passes which are located at a height of more than 16,000 feet.

The operation is being personally supervised by Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane.

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