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Arunachal 'integral' part of India: MEA on China opposing PM Modi's visit

Both India and China have sought to rebuild trust after an armed standoff over a stretch of the Himalayan border in 2017

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the gathering at the inauguration of several development projects, in Itanagar | Photo: PTI

India on Saturday asserted Arunachal Pradesh is its "integral and inalienable" part after China opposed Prime Minister's Narendra Modi's visit to the border state.

The said India has conveyed its "consistent position" on the issue to China on several occasions.

"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 said in a statement.

Modi on Saturday visited Arunachal Pradesh during which he inaugurated and laid foundation stone of projects worth over Rs 4,000 crore and said his government was giving a lot of importance to improve connectivity in the sensitive state.

In response to a question on Modi's visit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, "China's position on the China-India boundary question is consistent and clear-cut. The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called 'Arunachal Pradesh' and is firmly opposed to the Indian leader's visit to the East Section of the China-India 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 northeastern Indian state is a part of southern Tibet. India and China have so far held 21 rounds of talks to resolve the border dispute.

The India-China border dispute covers 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). China routinely objects to Indian leaders visiting Arunachal Pradesh in an effort to highlight its stand.

First Published: Sat, February 09 2019. 19:15 IST