China criticizes Indian minister’s visit to disputed border region

Beijing, Apr 10 (EFE).- China Monday “firmly” opposed a visit by the Indian home minister to Arunachal Pradesh, a disputed Himalayan region in India claimed by Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters that the visit by Indian Home Minister Amit Shah violated “China’s territorial sovereignty” and “does not contribute to the border peace and tranquility” between the two rival neighbors.

Wang said the region, which Beijing calls Zangnan, meaning “southern Tibet,” is “China’s territory.”

Shah began his visit to Arunachal Pradesh on Monday to inaugurate a village development program in a town near the border with China.

According to an official statement, the minister will also inaugurate nine micro hydel projects in the state and will also unveil Indo-Tibetan Border Police projects to augment infrastructure and interact with the border guards.

Earlier this month, China drew Indian criticism over what New Delhi described as China’s “attempts to assign invented names” to several places in Arunachal Pradesh, a border state in the northeast of India.

The sovereignty of Arunachal Pradesh has been a subject of dispute between India and China since the creation of the Indian state.

The Arunachal border dispute led to the India-China War in 1962, during which China captured most of the disputed state before withdrawing back.

India and China have a historic dispute over several Himalayan regions, with Beijing claiming Arunachal Pradesh.

India claims the China-controlled Aksai Chin that borders the Ladakh region in the north.

In 2017, Beijing renamed several places in Arunachal Pradesh, days after Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama visited the region and criticized Chinese politicians.

Four years later, it issued another set of standardized names.

Bilateral relations between India and China have been seriously affected since a border clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 in the western Himalayas.

It marked the worst clash in 45 years between the nuclear powers, in which at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed and 76 wounded, while Beijing said four of its troops were dead and one seriously wounded.

Both powers reacted to the conflict by sending troops to the LAC, the disputed de facto border that divides both countries, before beginning to withdraw them amid accusations of new military actions and violations in the territory.

Since then, New Delhi and Beijing have tried to resolve the crisis through diplomatic channels. EFE


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