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China "Strongly" Objects To PM's Arunachal Pradesh Visit

Ten days after the event, China on Tuesday expressed "strong" dissastisfaction over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Arunachal Pradesh during electioneering. "We demand the Indian side address China's serious concerns and not trigger disturbance

PTI [ Updated: October 13, 2009 20:39 IST ]
china strongly objects to pm s arunachal pradesh visit
china strongly objects to pm s arunachal pradesh visit

Ten days after the event, China on Tuesday expressed "strong" dissastisfaction over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Arunachal Pradesh during electioneering.

"We demand the Indian side address China's serious concerns and not trigger disturbance in the disputed region so as to facilitate the healthy development of India-China relations," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said.

"China is strongly dissatisfied with the visit to the disputed region by the Indian leader disregarding China's serious concerns," Ma said in a statement posted on the ministry's website.

He noted that India and China had "never officially settled" demarcation of their border, and China's stance on the eastern section of the India-China was "consistent and clear-cut".

Singh had toured and addressed an election rally in Arunachal Pradesh on October 3.

Recently, China had blocked part of a loan to India from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for developmental projects in Arunachal Pradesh. China also protested a visit to the state last month by exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.

China has illegally occupied 43,180 sq kms of Aksai Chin and Laddakh areas in Jammu and Kashmir. It has also occupied vast tracts of land in Arunachal Pradesh during the 1962 war.

China, in complete disregard of the Shimla Agreement during British Rule openly flouts the MacMahon Line, and show Arunachal Pradesh as ‘Southern Tibet' in its official maps and school textbooks. Despite this, China accuses India of possessing some 90,000 sq km in Arunachal Pradesh.

India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has time and again stated that Arunachal Pradesh has always been an integral part of India, and there was no question of ceding sovereignty over its own territory to any other country.

Of late, China has taken a belligerent stand on the border issue. It also objected to the visit of Dalai Lama to Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh. 

India on Tuesday reacted strongly to Chinese objection to the PM's Arunachal visit, saying the comments were disappointing as the state is an inalienable part of the country and such remarks do "not help" the process of talks on boundary issue. 

India said it is committed to ensure that outstanding differences are not allowed to affect the positive development of bilateral relations and hopes that China would "similarly abide by this understanding." 

The Indian reaction came as Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yan met Vijay Gokhale,Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs, for a "scheduled meeting" during which the sentiments of India were conveyed to him verbally. 

"Regardless of what others have to say, it is Government of India's stated position that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India, period," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told reporters, responding to China's objection to Singh's visit to the state 10 days back for an election rally. 

China's comments significantly came on a day when the state went to polls to elect new Assembly. 

Rejecting Chinese objections, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said it was an established practice in India that leaders visit states where elections are held. 

"We, therefore, express our disappointment and concern over the statement made by the Official Spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs," Prakash said. PTI

In  Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu took strong exception to China's objection to PM's visit visit to the state, saying that China should "accept the reality" and refrain from laying claim to the state.

 In a statement, Khandu hoped that China would accept the reality and refrain from laying claim on the hilly tribal state which graduated to electoral democracy in 1975.  "Between the two visits of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year and this year, several central ministers including then external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister A K Antony had reiterated that Arunachal Pradesh is an inalienable part of India and that no power on the earth can snatch it away from India," he said.

Khandu pointed out that President Pratibha Patil also visited the state to endorse the stand of the Union government.


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