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China-India relations

China angered by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to disputed border region

Beijing says New Delhi should avoid taking any action that might complicate a dispute over Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as South Tibet

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 February, 2018, 6:40pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 February, 2018, 6:40pm

Beijing on Thursday expressed anger over a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the remote Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China also claims, saying New Delhi should avoid taking any action that might complicate the dispute.

China claims the region in the eastern Himalayas as “South Tibet”, and has denounced Indian leaders’ visits there as attempts to bolster India’s claims to it.

“China’s position on the China-India boundary question is consistent and clear-cut,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement carried by Xinhua.

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“The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called Arunachal Pradesh and is firmly opposed to the Indian leader’s visit to the disputed area,” he said.

“We will lodge stern representations with the Indian side.”

Modi is visiting the region as part of a tour of India’s northeastern states.

“I am delighted to visit Arunachal Pradesh and be among the wonderful people of this state,” the Indian leader said in a Twitter post.

China and India have improved ties in recent years but there is still deep distrust over their long festering border dispute, which triggered a brief war in 1962. Last summer, troops from the two sides became embroiled in a months-long stand-off on the Doklam plateau, another disputed part of the border.

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Geng said China and India had reached an important consensus on properly managing disputes, and the two sides were working to resolve their contested border through negotiation and consultation.

“The Chinese side urges the Indian side to honour its commitment and abide by the relevant consensus, and refrain from taking any action that may complicate the boundary question,” he said.

Modi is expected to visit China in June for a summit of the Chinese and Russian-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation security bloc.

He inaugurated a convention centre in the Arunachal Pradesh state capital of Itanagar and said the state authorities had prepared an excellent road map for development until 2027.