India in a sharp assertion said on Thursday that China has no locus standi to comment on its internal matters. The comments come as a reaction to Beijing’s remarks after the opening of 44 bridges in border areas on Monday.

“The Union Territories of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir have been, are and will remain an integral part of India,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

“Our position on Arunachal Pradesh has also been made clear several times. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. This fact has also been clearly conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions, including at the highest level,” he added.

On Monday, reacting on the construction of 44 new bridges near the borders which were opened by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, China had said it “does not recognize the Ladakh Union Territory” and opposes infrastructure building by India in the region.

“First I want to make it clear that China does not recognise the Ladakh Union Territory illegally set up by the Indian side and the Arunachal Pradesh. We stand against the development of infrastructure facilities aimed at military contention along the border area,” said the Chinese spokesperson.

Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, had also called border infrastructure development “the root cause for the tension between the two sides” and said neither side should take action that might escalate tension.

“Based on consensus, neither should take actions along the border that might escalate the situation that is to avoid undermining the efforts by the two sides to ease the situation.”

“We urge the Indian side to earnestly implement our consensus and refrain from actions that might escalate the situation and take concrete measures to safeguard peace and tranquility along the border,” said Zhao.