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'Repeating baseless arguments does not lend...': India rebukes China again on Arunachal Pradesh

This was in reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Arunchal Pradesh, where he inaugurated the bi-lane Sela Tunnel, which was built at an estimated cost of Rs 825 crore. China claims the area as 'Zangnan' or South Tibet - an integral part of Chinese territory.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Updated on: March 19, 2024 15:09 IST
India, China, Arunachal Pradesh, border dispute
Image Source : MEA Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal

New Delhi: India on Tuesday strongly reacted to the Chinese Defence Ministry's 'absurd' remarks towards Arunachal Pradesh, saying that "repeating baseless arguments in this regard" does not lend validity to Chinese claims in the area and asserted that Arunachal Pradesh was an integral and inalienable part of India. The Chinese defence ministry recently reiterated its claim over Arunachal Pradesh, terming the Indian State as as "Zangan- an inherent part of China's territory".

In an official statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said the people of Arunachal Pradesh will continue to benefit from India's development programmes and infrastructure projects. "We have noted the comments made by the Spokesperson of the Chinese Defence Ministry advancing absurd claims over the territory of the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh. Repeating baseless arguments in this regard does not lend such claims any validity," said MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal.

"Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. Its people will continue to benefit from our development programmes and infrastructure projects," he added.

On March 15, a spokesperson of the Chinese defence ministry, Colonel Zhang Xiaogang, said, "Zangnan is China's inherent territory, and China never recognizes and firmly opposes India's illegal establishment of the so-called 'Arunachal Pradesh". This statement came days after India sharply reacted to the Chinese foreign ministry's remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

'Does not stand to reason': India on Chinese remarks

On Tuesday (March 12), the MEA said that Indian leaders visit the state from time to time and China's remarks over such visits or developmental projects "does not stand to reason". It asserted that runachal Pradesh is an "integral and inalienable" part of India, and Chinese authorities have been informed of this position on several occasions. "We reject the comments made by the Chinese side regarding the visit of the Prime Minister to Arunachal Pradesh. Indian leaders visit Arunachal Pradesh from time to time, as they visit other States of India," said MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal.

"Objecting to such visits or India's developmental projects does not stand to reason. Further, it will not change the reality that the State of Arunachal Pradesh was, is, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. Chinese side has been made aware of this consistent position on several occasions," he added.

What did China say about Arunachal Pradesh?

PM Modi inaugurated the bi-lane Sela Tunnel, which was built at an estimated cost of Rs 825 crore, on Saturday in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh on the road linking Tawang to Assam's Tezpur. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as Zangnan or South Tibet. China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin criticised PM Modi’s visit and "rejected" India’s claim over the region. 

"The China-India border issue remains unresolved. India has no right to unilaterally develop Zangnan, which belongs to China. India's actions will only further complicate the border issue and create negative disturbance in the border areas of the two countries. China strongly opposes and deplores the activities of the Indian leader in the eastern section of the China-India border and has made solemn complaints with India," he said.

Wang also rejected external interference in resource development in the South China Sea, which he deemed as a matter only between China and the coastal ASEAN countries. Notably, India and China fought a war along the border in 1962. The latest dispute flared in June 2020, when at least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops were killed in a brawl in the Ladakh region. Despite several talks, the relations between India and China remain frozen.

(with ANI inputs)

ALSO READ | 'Doesn't stand to reason': India rejects China's remarks on PM Modi's visit to Arunachal Pradesh


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