Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday rubbished claims made on social media about reports of Chinese incursion in the state, saying activity, if any, is limited to their side of the territory.
“I read some news on social media a few days ago that there has been a Chinese intrusion and construction on the Indian territory. I took the matter very seriously and immediately asked the concerned Deputy Commissioner to look into it and send a report,” the Chief Minister told news agency ANI.
The CM said that he discussed the matter with the Indian Army and spoke with local representatives, too. According to him, the reports he received pointed out that nobody had entered the Indian territory and whatever activity that is going on, is happening on the other side of the border in the Tibet-China area.
“This is all wrong news,” the CM reiterated.
On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given 1,000 sq km of India’s territory to China without a fight in 2020. In his tweet, the Former Congress President questioned how the Government of India will retrieve the territory.
China has refused to accept India’s demand of restoring status quo of April 2020.
PM has given 1000 Sq Kms of territory to China without a fight.
Can GOI explain how this territory will be retrieved?
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 14, 2022
Responding to the Congress MP’s tweet on China, CM Khandu said that Rahul Gandhi doesn’t have much knowledge of the northeast, let alone Arunachal.
Rahul Gandhi doesn’t have much knowledge of the northeast, let alone Arunachal. He raises such issues of the northeast on which he doesn’t have in-depth knowledge: Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu on Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s tweet on China pic.twitter.com/0TaPgbJ9Wq
— ANI (@ANI) September 15, 2022
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488 km long LAC, and Beijing regularly protests visits of top Indian leaders and officials to Arunachal Pradesh to reaffirm its claim.
Back in 2020, China had announced its own standardised names for 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as “South Tibet”. Delhi had reacted sharply and said that the state is an integral part of India and “assigning invented names to places… does not alter this fact”.
In its annual report released November 2021, the US Department of Defense had said that “sometime in 2020”, China built a “large 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between” between the Tibet Autonomous Region and Arunachal Pradesh.
However, then Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat had said that “these villages which are well within Chinese side of the LAC” and “they have not transgressed anywhere on our perception of the Line of Actual Control”.
In his statement given to ANI today, Arunachal CM also praised Prime Minister Modi, stating that infrastructure development and connectivity near the border areas had improved under his tenure.