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Arunachal is ours, not China's: Pranab

The External Affairs Minister rejects China's claim that Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory.

india Updated: Nov 16, 2006 12:38 IST

Ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit next week, India on Tuesday again rejected China's claim over Arunachal Pradesh and said that the northeastern state was an integral part of its territory.

"The whole of Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony of Jawaharlal Nehru Bhavan, the proposed new headquarters of the external affairs ministry.

Mukherjee was replying to a question about Chinese ambassador Sun Yuxi's remarks in an interview to CNN-IBN claiming the whole of Arunachal Pradesh as part of Chinese territory.

"In our position, the whole of the state of Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory. And Tawang is only one of the places in it. We are claiming all of that. That is our position," the Chinese envoy said in the interview.

The reiteration of an old Chinese claim over Arunachal is likely to throw a cloud over Hu's visit and his discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his four-day visit to India beginning Nov 20.

Although the border talks between special representatives of both sides have been progressing, there is little hope of a breakthrough over this issue during Hu's India visit which will focus mostly on accelerating trade and investment between the two countries.

During Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India last year, both countries finalized a set of guiding principles and political parameters for resolving the border dispute between the two emerging Asian powers.

First Published: Nov 14, 2006 01:38 IST