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China ‘firmly opposes’ Amit Shah’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh

"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," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing on Thursday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 20, 2020 4:04:26 pm
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China, which claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of south Tibet, on Thursday “firmly opposed” Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the region on the occasion of statehood day, saying it violated Beijing’s “territorial sovereignty and sabotaged political mutual trust”.

“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,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing.

“The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ and is firmly opposed to the Shah’s visit to the southern part of China’s Tibet region as it violated China’s territorial sovereignty, undermined the stability of the border area, sabotaged political mutual trust, and violated relevant bilateral agreement,” he added.

Beijing also urged New Delhi to prevent taking any action to “further complicate the border issue”.

“The Chinese side urges the Indian side to stop taking any action that may further complicate the border issue and take concrete actions to uphold peace and tranquillity of the border area,” Shuang said.

Shah is in Arunachal Pradesh to attend the 34th Statehood Day function and launch a number of projects related to industry and roads. On February 20, 1987, Arunachal Pradesh became a full state from union territory.

During his visit to Arunachal, the Home Minister assured the government was committed to protecting the unique culture of the Northeast and said, misinformation was being spread after the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir that a similar fate awaited the region.

“Misinformation was spread after abrogation of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, that Article 371 will also be scrapped. It will never happen. Nobody has any such intention,” Shah said.

Last year, Beijing had opposed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the area.

On Modi’s visit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said, “China’s position on the China-India boundary question is consistent and clear-cut. The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ and is firmly opposed to the Indian leader’s visit to the East Section of the China-India boundary.”

India, however, asserted that the state is an integral and inalienable part of the country, and that Indian leaders visit Arunachal Pradesh just as they visit other parts of India.

Both India and China have held 22 rounds of Special Representatives talks to resolve the border dispute.

Last year, customs officials in China had ordered the destruction of three lakh maps for not mentioning Arunachal Pradesh and Taiwan as part of its territory and had decided to file a lawsuit against four persons for trying to export them to the Netherlands, according to a media report.

Prior to that, China had destroyed nearly 30,000 world maps printed in the country. A notice issued by China’s General Administration of Customs on March 22 said that the Qingdao Customs officials found 28,908 maps to be “seriously problematic” when they were examined.

(With PTI inputs)

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