NEW DELHI: India plans to build a highway along its remote, disputed border with China in the country’s northeast, an official said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) prompting concern from Beijing.
China defeated India in a brief but bloody war in 1962 and their border remains unresolved, with both sides regularly accusing soldiers of crossing over into the other’s territory.
The proposed billion-dollar project aims to cut through mountainous terrain in the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, an official told Agence France-Presse.
The home ministry official said project details were still being ironed out, but hoped construction of the 1,800-kilometre (1,118-mile) long road would begin soon.
The highway comes after the government of nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has relaxed curbs on building near the disputed border since coming to power in May.
Asked about the road plan, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing hoped India “will not take any actions that may further complicate the situation”.
“The boundary issue between China and India is left by the colonial past. We need to deal with this issue properly,” Hong told a daily news briefing in Beijing.
“Before a final settlement is reached, we hope that India will not take any actions that may further complicate the situation.
“We should jointly safeguard peace and tranquility of the border area and create favourable conditions for the final settlement of the border issue.”