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‘Repeating baseless arguments’: India responds to China on Arunachal

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New Delhi, March 19: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday lashed out at China for “advancing absurd claims” over the territory of Arunachal Pradesh and reiterated that the northeastern state will always remain its “integral and inalienable part” of India.

The response from the Ministry came after Beijing said that it “never acknowledges and firmly opposes” the “so-called Arunachal Pradesh illegally established by India.”

“We have noted the comments made by the Spokesperson of the Chinese Defence Ministry advancing absurd claims over the territory of the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh,” MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said in a statement.

“Repeating baseless arguments in this regard does not lend such claims any validity. Arunachal Pradesh was, is, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. Its people will continue to benefit from our development programmes and infrastructure projects,” Jaiswal added.

Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang said that the southern part of Xizang — Chinese name for Tibet — is an inherent part of its territory, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh to inaugurate the strategically important Sela tunnel.

Situated at an altitude of 13,000 feet, the world’s longest twin-lane tunnel will ensure all-weather connectivity to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

“The Indian side’s actions contradict the efforts made by both sides to ease border situations and are not conducive to maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” Zhang said on PM Modi’s visit.

Having routinely objected to Indian leaders’ visits to the state in the past, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said last week that it “strongly deplored” PM Modi’s visit and India’s move would “only complicate” the boundary issue.

In response, Jaiswal rejected Wenbin’s comments and said that the Chinese side has been made aware of India’s “consistent position on Arunachal several occasions.”

 

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