There seems to be no end to the India-China border tension.
Two days after China said that it does not recognise the Indian government-controlled territory of Ladakh and the state of Arunachal Pradesh, New Delhi on Thursday hit back and made it clear that Beijing has no locus standi to comment on this country's internal affairs.
"The Union Territories of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir have been, are and will remain an integral part of India," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava told the media.
"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 said.
In the wake of Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh's inauguration of as many as 44 bridges in border areas on Monday, Zhao Lijian, the spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, said on Tuesday that Beijing "does not recognize the Ladakh Union Territory illegally set up by India and Arunachal Pradesh".
"The border infrastructure development is the root cause for tension between the two sides.
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," Zhao had said.
However, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson made it clear the infrastructure development in border areas "is primarily aimed at economic upliftment" of the people living there, and hoped that "countries will not comment on India's internal matters, as much as they expect the same of others".
"The government has been focused on creating the infrastructure in the country to improve the livelihood and economic welfare of its people. The government gives special attention to improving infrastructure in border areas for economic development and to meet India's strategic and security requirements," he said.
The bilateral relations between India and China have been deteriorating over the past five-six months, the root cause being an ill-defined, 3,440km-long disputed border.
Both the countries are competing to build infrastructure along the border, which is also known as the Line of Actual Control. The main trigger for the June border clash between India and China was the former's construction of a new road to a high-altitude air base. The clash had left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.