Rajnath Singh says Arunachal border peaceful, Beijing slams visit
The Chinese ministry statement follows the bilateral between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the BRICS sidelines in Brazil on Wednesday, where the two leaders acknowledged a “new direction and new energy” in ties.Updated: Nov 15, 2019 19:28 IST
Defence minister Rajnath Singh credited Indian and Chinese troops on Friday for easing of tensions along the boundary even as Beijing objected to Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh and said it doesn’t recognise the Indian state and opposes Indian leaders’ visits to the region.
Beijing claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet or the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and routinely opposes Indian leaders’ visits to the state. Arunachal has a long, mountainous border with China.
“The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ and resolutely opposes the activities of Indian leaders and senior officials in the region,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang said at the regular ministry briefing.
The Chinese ministry statement follows the bilateral between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the BRICS sidelines in Brazil on Wednesday, where the two leaders acknowledged a “new direction and new energy” in ties and reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and security in the border areas.
Geng indicated Singh’s visit could impact peace and tranquillity along the border areas.
“China urges the Indian side to respect China’s interests and concerns, stop taking any actions that complicate the border issue,” Geng said.
Singh, who is reviewing the security situation along the Sino-India border, visited an Army forward post at Bumla near the border with China on Friday and interacted with soldiers and officers there.
“Despite perceptional differences on the boundary issue both the Indian Army and PLA (People’s Liberation Army) have been sensible enough to reduce tensions on LAC (Line of Actual Control). I congratulate the Indian Army for showing great maturity in all situations,” Singh tweeted.
Rajnath Singh had earlier, visited the memorial of Subedar Joginder Singh, a Param Vir Chakra awardee, who valiantly fought the Chinese troops in the 1962 war before laying down his life, at Bumla.
Tensions between the two militaries had peaked during the 44-day-long standoff at the India-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction in Doklam in 2017, which India saw as an attempt by China to alter the existing boundary in violation of understanding between the two countries.
India and China have formed a mechanism to resolve their boundary disputes peacefully that involves meetings between special representatives from both sides to iron out the differences. Another such meeting is to be held soon.
Earlier, this year customs authorities in a northeastern Chinese city destroyed nearly 30,000 world maps showing Arunachal Pradesh as a part of India and Taiwan as a separate country.