PM will visit Arunachal again, says India after China raises objection
ITANAGAR/BEIJING, FEBRUARY 21
The Centre on Saturday dismissed China’s objection to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Friday visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying that he will visit the hill state again.
Reacting to Beijing’s concerns over the issue, MoS home, Kiren Rijiju was quoted as saying by the ANI, “Why should someone (China) have problem with PM visiting any part of his country? He’ll definitely visit again.” “There can be debate regarding 1 or 2 metres of land or border, but there can’t be any debate regarding entire territory or State, Rijiju further said.
The reaction from the Government came hours after China, reiterating its stance on the northeastern Indian state, said on Friday that it is “opposed” to the Indian leader’s activities in the “disputed area”.
In its reaction, the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that China never recognised Arunchal Pradesh.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in Beijing that they have lodged solemn representations with the Indian side and that pending “settlement of the boundary question, the Indian side should avoid making any move that complicates the boundary question and maintain the good momentum of bilateral ties.
Hua made the remarks on Modi “attending activities in the Disputed Area of eastern part of China-India boundary”.
“China holds a consistent and clear stance on the China-India boundary question. It is a fact known to all that there are substantial disputes over the eastern part of the China-India boundary, the Chinese government has never recognised the “Arunachal Pradesh”.
“The Chinese side is opposed to Indian leaders` activities in the disputed area, and has lodged solemn representations with the Indian side. What the Indian side has done runs counter to the efforts by the two sides to properly resolve and manage disputes and the overall interests of bilateral relations,” his statement said.
“We urge the Indian side to take China`s solemn concerns seriously, meet the Chinese side halfway and commit itself to fairly and properly resolving the bilateral boundary question through negotiation,” it further said.
Pending the settlement of the boundary question, the Indian side should avoid making any move that complicates the boundary question and maintain the good momentum of bilateral ties,” Hua said.
The reaction from China is significant since both countries are preparing for PM Modi`s visit to Beijing in May this year.
Modi on Friday flagged off the first express train from Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh to New Delhi.
Modi, who arrived in Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar to participate in the state`s 29th foundation day, flagged off the Naharlagun-New Delhi Express by pressing a button at a function held in Indira Gandhi Park in Itanagar.
The Prime Minister hoped the boost in communication through the railway would propel growth and development in Arunachal Pradesh and other parts of the northeast.
Modi, who was accompanied by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, also inaugurated an inter-city train between Naharlagun and Guwahati and laid the foundation stone of 132 KV power transmission project and another project to avail pure drinking water for the residents of capital town. President Pranab Mukherjee`s visit to the state last year had drawn sharp reactions from China, which has often laid claim to the state.