Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference
Reuters: It’s been reported that India is prioritizing the construction of high-altitude all-weather roads on its border with China in the Ladakh region. What’s the ministry’s comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: China doesn’t recognize the so-called “Ladakh Union Territory” illegally set up by India and opposes infrastructure building aimed at military contention in disputed border areas. Based on the consensus reached by the two sides recently, to avoid undermining concerted efforts to ease the situation, neither side should take any action that might complicate the situation at the border region.
PTI: A follow-up on what you said about India building roads in the Ladakh region. The argument that India and several think tanks forward is that China has already built up massive infrastructure on its side of the LAC. India is only trying to catch up on the side of what it perceives to be its LAC. So why should China object to that?
Wang Wenbin: First, I want to state clearly that the reports by some institutes on China building new military bases or facilities along the LAC are completely false descriptions driven by ulterior motives.
Second, the Chinese side always strictly abides by agreements with the Indian side. We are committed to maintaining peace and stability in the border areas. At the same time, we firmly safeguard territorial sovereignty and national security. Chinese border troops have long been on the Chinese side of the LAC and strictly complying with bilateral agreements with India. We hope the Indian side will work toward the same goal with China to bring the temperature down and avoid disrupting the two sides’ efforts to ease the situation.
Bloomberg: We are interested if the foreign ministry has any comments regarding Japan’s plans to host a meeting with the foreign ministers of the US, India and Australia next week?
Wang Wenbin: We believe the world’s overriding trend is peace, development and win-win cooperation. Instead of forming exclusive cliques, multilateral and plurilateral cooperation should be open, inclusive and transparent. Instead of targeting at third parties or undermining third parties’ interests, cooperation should be conducive to mutual understanding and trust between regional countries.
We hope the relevant countries can think more of the regional countries’ common interests and contribute to regional peace, stability and development rather than doing the opposite.
(MEA’s read out on the forthcoming meeting of the Quad can be seen here.)