China on Thursday objected to home minister Amit Shah’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying the visit had violated its territorial sovereignty and “sabotaged” mutual trust with India.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of south Tibet and routinely criticises the visit of any Indian official to the region.
Shah is in Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday to attend functions related to the 34th Statehood Day of the northeastern Indian state, which has a border with China, where he has launched a number of projects related to industry and roads, officials said earlier.
Beijing was quick to react to the visit of Shah, who besides being the home minister is also one of the top leaders of the ruling BJP.
“China’s position on the eastern sector of the China-India boundary, or the southern part of China’s Tibet region, is consistent and clear,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, said responding to a question about the visit from the Chinese state media.
“The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ and is firmly opposed to the Indian politician’s visit to the southern part of China’s Tibet region as it violated China’s territorial sovereignty, undermined stability of the border area, sabotaged political mutual trust, and violated relevant bilateral agreement,” Geng said at the online ministry briefing.
The spokesperson added that India should stop taking any action that may “further complicate the border issue”.
In November, the Chinese foreign ministry had similarly slammed Indian defence minister, Rajnath Singh’s visit to the state to review the security situation in the frontier border region.
Beijing continues to claim Arunachal Pradesh as part of the geographical territory of south Tibet or the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), which has a long mountainous border with China.
India and China have a dispute over borders stretching from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh and it is yet to be resolved after dozens of rounds of talks held over the decades.
Earlier in 2019, customs authorities in a northeastern Chinese city had destroyed nearly 30,000 world maps showing Arunachal Pradesh as a part of India and Taiwan as a separate country.
Reports said it was the largest such exercise in recent years and was carried out to protect China’s “territorial integrity”. The maps were in English and manufactured by a company in a Chinese province called, Anhui.
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