India hits back at China over Shah's Arunachal visit

New Delhi (IANS) India hit back at China on Thursday over Beijing's hostile statement against Union Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying it did not stand to reason and understanding of India.

"Our position on Arunachal Pradesh is clear and consistent. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. 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 the Indian people," spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said at a press briefing here.

Even as it is bogged down by the coronavirus epidemic, China on Thursday reopened a hostile front with India as Beijing "firmly opposed" Shah's visit to Arunachal Pradesh on its statehood day and warned India against "complicating" the border issue.

Arunachal Pradesh became a full state from a Union Territory, 34 years ago on February 20. The region was part of British India in 1913-14 and formally included when the McMohan Line was established as the border between India and Tibet in 1938.

Disputing India's sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media in Beijing that "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".

"The Chinese side urges the Indian side to take concrete actions to uphold peace and tranquillity of the border area," Geng said.

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