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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Arunachal MPs furious, slam China for protesting PM visit 

IANS  Itanagar, October 13, 2009
First Published: 16:39 IST(13/10/2009) | Last Updated: 10:25 IST(16/10/2009)

Indian MPs on Tuesday slammed Beijing for criticizing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, the latest hiccup between the Asian neighbours after reports of Chinese incursions and Indian troop build up along the borders.

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"It is simply blasphemous on the part of China to oppose or express dissatisfaction over the visit of our prime minister to Arunachal Pradesh," Takam Sanjay, a ruling Congress MP in the Lok Sabha from Arunachal Pradesh, told IANS.

"Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and Beijing has simply no business to interfere in India's internal affairs," he added.

The reaction came after the Chinese foreign ministry formally expressed dissatisfaction over the prime minister's visit to Arunachal Pradesh Oct 3 to address an election meeting.

Beijing in 2003 gave up its territorial claim over India's Sikkim state but maintains that nearly all of Arunachal Pradesh belongs to it. The mountainous state of Arunachal shares a 1,030 km unfenced border with China.

"Beijing's reaction is absurd. How can they claim Arunachal Pradesh when more than 70 percent of the total 750,000 voters exercised their franchise in Tuesday's vote?" asked another ruling party legislator who wished not to be identified.

Beijing's sharp comments follow reports of Chinese intrusions in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

China last month raked up a controversy asking India not to allow Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh in November.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said: "We firmly oppose Dalai visiting the so-called 'Arunachal Pradesh'."

The Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit the Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh, bordering China, besides capital Itanagar.

"China should not interfere with the Dalai Lama's proposed visit to Arunachal Pradesh. We welcome the Dalai Lama's visit," Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu said.

It is through Tawang that in 1959 the Dalai Lama escaped the Chinese to enter India.

The India-China border along Arunachal Pradesh is separated by the McMahon Line, an imaginary border now known as the Line of Actual Control.

India and China fought a border war in 1962, with Chinese troops advancing deep into Arunachal Pradesh and inflicting heavy casualties on Indian troops.

The border dispute with China was inherited by India from British colonial rulers. China has never recognised the 1914 McMahon Line and claims 90,000 sq km, nearly all of Arunachal Pradesh.

India accuses China of occupying 8,000 sq km in Kashmir.


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