‘Shaksgam Valley is Part of India’: India Lodges Protest with China

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: Highlighting Chinese activities near Siachen Glacier, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal May 2 reaffirmed that Shaksgam Valley is a part of India, adding that India has registered protests against China over illegal attempts to alter facts at the Shaksgam Valley.

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Responding to China’s attempt to build a road in a part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir close to the Siachen Glacier, the MEA spokesperson reiterated India’s stand on it.

“The Shaksgam Valley is a part of the territory of India,” Jaiswal said.

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He further emphasised that India has never accepted the “China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement”.

“We have never accepted the so-called China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963 through which Pakistan unlawfully attempted to cede the area to China, and have consistently conveyed our rejection of the same. We have registered our protest with the Chinese side against illegal attempts to alter facts on the ground,” he added.

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The spokesperson reiterated that India reserves the right to take necessary measures to safeguard its interests.

“We have been protesting as and when required, we have always taken a very strong stand on it,” Jaiswal said.

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China has invested in the construction of military infrastructure in the Shaksgam Valley, which could in the medium term, pose a military threat to Indian forces in Ladakh, reported Nepal-based online magazine Pardafas, last year.

In the last several years, China has kept up military pressure on India, through its incursions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

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While this fact has been recognised by the international community, a study by North-Western University shows that China’s incursions are strategically planned to make a permanent Chinese presence in these areas.

Border transgressions and incursions are well documented in all three sectors of the 3,488 km long border that India officially shares with China. However, far more sinister military aggression has been underway in Pakistan-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoK), Pardafas reported.

The reference here is to the construction of military infrastructure and roads by China in the Shaksgam Valley, a Trans-Karakoram tract ceded by Pakistan under the terms of the 1963 Boundary Agreement.

Moreover, the China-Pakistan concert on the boundary in the Karakoram area of PoK (covering a distance of over 590 km) violates India’s traditional and legal rights in PoK.

China has gone a step ahead and developed military infrastructure and roads in the disputed region, presenting a clear and present danger to India, Pardafas reported.