China on Monday raised objection to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s first visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying it is not conducive to the peace and tranquility of the “disputed area”. On her two-day tour, Sitharaman visited Army posts in remote Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh bordering China to take stock of defence preparedness. She also visited the air force base in Chabua in Tinsukia district of neighbouring Assam.
“As to Indian Defence Minister visit to Arunachal Pradesh, you must be very clear about China’s position,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing. “There is a dispute on the eastern section of the China-India boundary. So this visit by the Indian side to the disputed area is not conducive to the peace and tranquillity of the relevant region,” she said in a response to a question.
The Indian side should work with the Chinese side to make contribution to properly revolving the issue through dialogue and create enabling environment and conditions, she said. “Hope India will work China for the shared goal, seek a solution acceptable to both sides and accommodate our concerns in a balanced way,” she said.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet and routinely objects to top Indian officials’ visit to the area. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China stretches to 3,488 kms. Both sides have held 19 rounds of talks by the Special Representatives to resolve the dispute.
However, last month, China had welcomed Sitharaman’s visit to Indo-China border at Nathu La in Sikkim, saying the minister’s visit was the “best witness” to the UK-China treaty of 1890. “The Sikkim sector of the China-India boundary has been delimited by the historical treaty of 1890, and the Nathula pass has been the best witness testifying to this fact,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said.
– PTI inputs