Arunachal casts shadow on Indian team’s visit to China

  • Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing
  • Updated: Apr 22, 2014 01:02 IST

The visit of a large Indian youth delegation to China is said to have been postponed amid reports that China had asked India not to include any one from Arunachal Pradesh in the delegation.

On Monday, foreign minister spokesperson, Qin Gang said the specifics of the visit were being “discussed” between New Delhi and Beijing when asked to confirm and comment on the media reports from India.

On a query about China issuing “stapled visas” to Indian citizens from Arunachal, Qin said China’s position on the boundary between the two countries was clear-cut and consistent.

Part of China’s “consistent” position on the disputed border issue is that it will only issue “stapled visas” to Indians from Arunachal Pradesh coming to China; Beijing claims the north-eastern Indian state as part of its territory and calls it South Tibet.

Diplomatic sources indicated that the delegation visit could take place after the Indian general elections were over and a new government was in place. Leading academics from China have tried to play down NDA prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s remarks in Arunachal that Beijing should let go of its expansionist policies, calling it poll rhetoric. But the issue, quite clearly, is never far from the surface.

According to China’s official position on Arunachal Pradesh, the state was established largely on the three areas of China’s Tibet — Monyul, Loyul and Lower Tsayul currently, all three areas claimed by Beijing to be “under Indian illegal occupation”.

“These three areas, located between the illegal “Mcmahon Line” and the traditional customary boundary between China and India, have always been Chinese territory,” says a commentary in China’s state-controlled media.

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