NEW DELHI- India on Wednesday rejected China’s objection to a visit to Arunachal Pradesh by vice president M Venkaiah Naidu and again called on the Chinese side to work for the speedy resolution of the standoff on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Naidu made a two-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh over the weekend as part of a tour of the northeast, and addressed a special session of the state assembly in Itanagar on Saturday.
Responding to a question on the visit from state-run media, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Beijing doesn’t recognise Arunachal Pradesh (as part of India) and is firmly opposed to visits to the region by Indian leaders.
Hours later, external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi rejected China’s objection to the visit and asserted that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.
“We have noted the comments made today [Wednesday] by the Chinese official spokesperson. We reject such comments. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India,” Bagchi said.
“Indian leaders routinely travel to the state of Arunachal Pradesh 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 Indian people,” he said.
India’s demand for China to speed up the resolution of the standoff in eastern Ladakh was reiterated by Bagchi, who again accused the Chinese side of causing tensions along the LAC through unilateral attempts to “alter the status quo” in the border areas.
The raising of Naidu’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh by Chinese state-run media was an indication that Beijing intentionally raked up the issued against the backdrop of the lingering tensions due to the LAC standoff.