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Get your history right: China to Pranab

China angrily rejects India's assertion that Arunachal Pradesh is its integral part, insisting that Beijing never recognised the "illegal" McMahon Line.

world Updated: Nov 12, 2008 01:31 IST
Reshma Patil

China and India are in a fresh war of words over Arunachal Pradesh.

On Tuesday, Beijing said it “deeply regretted” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s recent remarks rejecting China’s claims over the state. “We deeply regret the Indian side’s remarks that take no regard of historical facts,” foreign ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said at a regular media briefing.

On Sunday, Mukherjee had said in Tawang that China is “fully aware” Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India. “The question of parting company with Arunachal or any of its parts does not arise,” he was reported to have said.

China claims all of Arunachal Pradesh as its own.

In response, Qin said India is aware that the current Chinese government, and previous ones, don’t recognise the “illegal McMahon Line”. He said: “China and India have never officially settled demarcation of borders, and China’s stance on the eastern section of China-India borders is consistent and clear-cut.”

China is willing to find a “fair, reasonable and acceptable” solution to the boundary dispute through negotiation in the spirit of mutual understanding and adjustment, he added.

China’s official news agency Xinhua released a statement on the foreign ministry’s reaction, and referred to the northeast state as “so-called Arunachal Pradesh”.