China objects to Ladakh’s formation as UT

BEIJING/NEW DELHI, Aug 6: China on Tuesday objected to the formation of Ladakh as a union territory (UT) by India, saying it undermined its territorial sovereignty, evoking a sharp reaction from New Delhi, which asked Beijing to refrain from commenting on its “internal affairs.”
With the government bifurcating Jammu & Kashmir into two UTs – Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh – Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said China has always opposed India’s inclusion of the Chinese territory in the western sector of the China-India boundary into its administrative jurisdiction.
Reacting strongly, External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Raveesh Kumar said, “The J-K Reorganization Bill, 2019, introduced by the government in Parliament on 5 August, which proposes the formation of a new union territory of Ladakh, is an internal matter concerning the territory of India. India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise.”
While asserting that “recently India has continued to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty by unilaterally changing its domestic law,” Hua said such practice was “unacceptable and will not come into force.”
She also said, “We urge India to exercise prudence in words and deeds concerning the boundary question, strictly abide by relevant agreements concluded between the two sides, and avoid taking any move that may further complicate the boundary question.”
On his part, Kumar said, “So far as the India-China boundary question is concerned, the two sides have agreed to a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the boundary question on the basis of the political parameters and guiding principles for the settlement of India-China boundary question.”
Pending such a settlement, both sides have agreed to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas on the basis of the relevant agreements, he added.
India and China have a 3,488-km long Line of Actual Control (LAC) between them. The two countries have held 21 rounds of special representatives’ talks so far to resolve the boundary dispute. (PTI)