India Asserts Sovereignty as it Brushes Off Chinese Opposition to Modi’s Visit to Arunachal Pradesh

Last Updated on March 12, 2024 1:04 pm


In a firm response to China’s objections, India has rejected Beijing’s protests against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh, emphasizing that the northeastern state is an integral and inalienable part of India. The Indian foreign ministry’s statement comes after Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin expressed strong opposition to Modi’s activities in the region, lodging a diplomatic protest against India.

Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday aimed to inaugurate key infrastructure projects, including a tunnel that enhances all-weather connectivity to the strategically significant border area of Tawang. The tunnel is expected to facilitate faster and smoother troop movements in the frontier region.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, a contention rejected by New Delhi, which maintains that Arunachal Pradesh has always been an integral part of India.

“Indian leaders visit Arunachal Pradesh from time to time, as they visit other states of India. Objecting to such visits or India’s developmental projects does not stand to reason,” stated Randhir Jaiswal, India’s foreign ministry spokesperson. “Further, it will not change the reality that the state of Arunachal Pradesh was, is, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India.”

The longstanding border dispute between the nuclear-armed neighbors remains a source of tension. The poorly demarcated 3,000-km (1,860 mile) frontier has seen clashes, with 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops losing their lives in 2020. Both countries have fortified positions and deployed additional troops and equipment along the border, marking a continuation of their uneasy relationship since the 1962 border war.

Last year, China heightened tensions by assigning Chinese names to 11 locations in Arunachal Pradesh, further fueling the territorial dispute between the two nations.

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