India rebukes China over comments on disputed region

New Delhi, Apr 11 (EFE).- The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday rejected China’s comments on Arunachal Pradesh, a province under Indian control which is claimed by Beijing, after Indian Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah visited the state and was criticized by China for it.

“Indian leaders routinely travel to the state of Arunachal Pradesh as they do to any other state of India. Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always remain an integral and inalienable part of India,” Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.

The remarks came after China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters on Monday that Beijing “firmly” opposed Shah’s Arunachal visit as it violated “China’s territorial sovereignty” and “does not contribute to the border peace and tranquility” between the two rival neighbors.

The Indian home ministry had highlighted the minister’s Monday visit to the disputed area, aimed at launching several investment projects to strengthen development and border security.

“Objecting to such visits does not stand to reason and will not change the (…) reality,” Bagcho said, adding that Indian authorities “completely reject the comments made by the Chinese Official Spokesperson.”

Earlier this month, China drew criticism from India 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 which is dubbed “southern Tibet” by Beijing.

The sovereignty of Arunachal Pradesh has been a subject of dispute between India and China since India’s independence from Britain in 1947.

India and China have a historic dispute over several Himalayan regions, as India claims the China-controlled Aksai Chin that borders its Ladakh region in the north.

Bilateral relations between India and China have been strained since a border clash in Ladakh’s 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 died and one seriously wounded. EFE


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