China op­poses PM’s visit, MEA hits back

■ New Delhi says Arunachal in­alien­able part of In­dia

Deccan Chronicle - - Nation -

Beijing, Feb. 9: China on Satur­day “firmly op­posed” Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, assert­ing that it has never recog­nised the sen­si­tive border state and the In­dian lead­er­ship should re­frain from any ac­tion that may “com­pli­cate the bound­ary ques­tion”.

Prime Min­is­ter Modi Satur­day in­au­gu­rated and laid foun­da­tion stone of projects in Arunachal Pradesh worth over `4,000 crore and said his gov­ern­ment was giv­ing a lot of im­por­tance to im­prove con­nec­tiv­ity in the border state.

Mr Modi said his gov­ern­ment was giv­ing im­por­tance to im­prove the high­way, rail­way, air­way and power sit­u­a­tion in Arunachal Pradesh, which was ne­glected by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ments.

In New Delhi, Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs re­acted sharply to China’s re­marks, say­ing the state of Arunachal Pradesh is an “in­te­gral and in­alien­able part” of In­dia.

“In­dian lead­ers visit Arunachal Pradesh from time to time, as they visit other parts of In­dia. This con­sis­tent po­si­tion has been con­veyed to the Chi­nese side on sev­eral oc­ca­sions,” the MEA spokesper­son said in a state­ment.

Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesper­son Hua Chun­y­ing in re­sponse to a ques­tion on Mr Modi’s visit said, “China’s po­si­tion on the China-In­dia bound­ary ques­tion is con­sis­tent and clear-cut. The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has never recog­nised the so­called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ and is firmly op­posed to the In­dian leader’s visit to the East Sec­tion of the Chi­naIn­dia bound­ary.”

“China urges the In­dian side to bear in mind the com­mon in­ter­ests of the two coun­tries, re­spect the

in­ter­ests and con­cerns of the Chi­nese side, cher­ish the mo­men­tum of im­prove­ment in bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, and re­frain from any ac­tion that may lead to the es­ca­la­tion of

dis­putes or com­pli­cate the bound­ary ques­tion,” she said in her re­ac­tion posted on the Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry’s web­site. China claims the north-east­ern In­dian

state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of south­ern Ti­bet.

In­dia and China have so far held 21 rounds of talks to re­solve the border dis­pute.

—PTI

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi speaks with Tripura chief min­is­ter Bi­plab Deb at a pub­lic meet­ing, in Agar­tala, Satur­day.

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