China has been objecting to visits of Indian leaders to Arunachal Pradesh, saying it is a part of South Tibet.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi “rejected” the comments made by China and said, “We have noted the comments made today by the Chinese official spokesperson. We reject such comments.”
“Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. Indian leaders routinely travel to the state of Arunachal Pradesh as they do to any other state of India. Objecting to the visit of Indian leaders to a state of India does not stand to reason and understanding of the Indian people,” he said.
China had earlier released a statement opposing Venkaiah Naidu’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
“China doesn’t recognise the so-called Arunachal Pradesh illegally set by India and firmly opposes the recent visit of India’s Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu to the area,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.
Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu was in Arunachal Pradesh over the weekend as part of his tour to the northeastern states of India.
This is not the first time that China has protested the visit of a dignitary to the state to which they lay claim. In the past, protests were lodged against many such visits, particularly, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama used to travel to the state.
India and China recently concluded the 13th round of military talks over the situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
After holding robust discussions, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “The current situation along the LAC in the western sector of the India-China border areas has been caused by unilateral attempts of the Chinese side to alter the status quo in violation of the bilateral agreements. Therefore, we expect the Chinese side to work towards early resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols rather than trying to link unrelated issues.”
India and China have been trying to resolve the 18-month long border crisis along the LAC in the Ladakh region but the latest round of military-level talks yielded no results and the stalemate continues.