India mulls cancelling delegation to China over Arunachal Pradesh dispute
Youth Affairs Minister Jitendra Singh calls for China's territorial challenge to be 'nipped in the bud'
A senior Indian government official has asked New Delhi to cancel the scheduled visit of a youth delegation to China to protest a request by Chinese officials that participants from the disputed territory of Arunachal Pradesh be excluded from the delegation.
Youth Affairs Minister Jitendra Singh asked External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to cancel the annual exchange unless China dropped its pre-condition, the Indian Express reported on Sunday.
“I believe these incremental steps by China to challenge India’s sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh and its other territories must be nipped in the bud,” he was quoted as writing in the letter to his cabinet colleague. Singh is also Minister of State of Defence, a position equivalent to vice minister.
China and India went to war over their overlapping territorial claims in the southern Himalayas in 1962.
China occupied most of the region, which it calls South Tibet, in the 1962 war but voluntarily withdrew its troops soon afterwards. India recaptured the region in 1964 and named it Arunachal Pradesh in 1987.
China has in recent years refused entry to several delegations over the inclusion of Arunachal Pradesh residents.
Narendra Modi, the frontrunner in the national elections underway this month and next, ired China in February over his declaration that the state is an integral part of India.
Singh said Chinese diplomats had made their request orally in March. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet responded to the minister’s letter, the report said. Both ministers are members of the Indian National Congress party.