The government yesterday hit back at China over Beijing’s hostile statement against Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
“Our position on Arunachal Pradesh is clear and consistent. Arunachal is an integral and inalienable part of India. Indian leaders routinely travel to the state as they do to any other state of India. Objecting to the visit of Indian leaders to a state of India does not stand to reason and understanding of the Indian people,” ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a press briefing here.
Even as it is bogged down by the coronavirus epidemic, China yesterday reopened a hostile front with India as Beijing “firmly opposed” Shah’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh on its Statehood Day and warned New Delhi against “complicating” the border issue.
Disputing India’s sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media in Beijing “the Chinese government has never recognised the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ and is firmly opposed to Shah’s visit.”
China considers Arunachal Pradesh a part of southern Tibet region which it occupied in 1951. Geng said, “China’s position on the eastern sector of the India-China, or the southern part of China’s Tibet region, is consistent and clear.”
Geng said the visit “violated China’s territorial sovereignty, undermined the stability of the border area, sabotaged political mutual trust, and violated relevant bilateral agreement.” He asked New Delhi not to take any actions which can “further complicate the border issue”.
Meanwhile, Shah yesterday announced that the capitals of all northeastern states would be connected with each other by road and air before 2021.
Shah made the announcement while addressing a gathering here on the occasion of Arunachal Pradesh’s 34th Statehood Day.
“I want to assure you that the capitals of each northeastern states will be connected via road and air connectivity before 2021. Construction of an airport has begun in Arunachal and the Narendra Modi government is spending Rs500bn for road construction in the state,” Shah said.
In a veiled attack at the Congress, Shah said Rs470bn was spent on road connectivity in 25 years in Arunachal Pradesh, and the Modi government has spent Rs500bn in just five years.
Noting that the current central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to the development of the northeast, Shah said a total of Rs320bn has been spent in the last three years for the construction of 3,800km of national highway in northeast of which construction of 1,200km has already been completed.
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