After China objects to PM Modi’s Arunachal visit, MEA says state integral part
Modi’s visit was part of a series of public meetings in the region aimed at garnering support for the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of elections that are due to be held by May.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday saw jagged exchange between China and India. China’s foreign ministry Objected to PM Modi’s Arunachal visit saying “resolutely opposes” activities of Indian leaders in the region.
Responding to China’s objection to PM Modi’s visit to the northeastern state, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the state is “an integral and inalienable part of India.” Modi’s visit was part of a series of public meetings in the region aimed at garnering support for the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of elections that are due to be held by May.
“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 Chinese side on several occasions,” news agency ANI quoted MEA as saying.
Despite recent efforts to improve bilateral ties in both countries, disputes over the mountainous Indo-China border - which triggered a war in 1962 - and the region that China claims as southern Tibet have remained a sensitive issue.
“China urges the Indian side to proceed from the overall situation of bilateral relations, respect China’s interests and concerns, cherish the momentum of improving relations between the two countries, and refrain from any actions that intensify disputes and complicate the border issue,” the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
On Saturday, India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Both India and China have sought to rebuild trust after an armed standoff over a stretch of the Himalayan border in 2017.
Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met a number of times last year to give impetus to the trade discussions. But progress, according to Indian government officials and representatives of various Indian trade bodies, has been very slow.
(With inputs from Reuters)