China objects to Shah Arunachal trip

After China objected to home minister Amit Shah’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, India hit back and said Beijing’s objection to government functionaries visiting the state did not “stand to reason and understanding of the Indian people’’.

India’s position on Arunachal Pradesh had been clear and consistent that it was an integral and inalienable part of the country, foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. “Indian leaders routinely travel to the state of Arunachal Pradesh as they do to any other state of India,’’ he added.

China, which claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of south Tibet, objected to Shah’s visit to the state, saying it violated Beijing’s “territorial sovereignty”.

“China’s position on the eastern sector of the China-India boundary, or the southern part of China's Tibet region, is consistent and clear," China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing on Thursday.

“The Chinese government has never recognised the so called Arunachal Pradesh’ and is firmly opposed to the Indian politician’s visit to the southern part of China’s Tibet region as it violated China’s territorial sovereignty, undermined stability of the border area, sabotaged political mutual trust, and violated relevant bilateral agreement,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said told reporters in Beijing on Thursday.

Shah was in Arunachal Pradesh to attend the 34th Statehood Day function and launched a number of development projects.

Addressing a rally at Indira Gandhi Park in Itanagar, Shah said, “Misinformation was spread after abrogation of Article 370 that Article 371 will also be scrapped. It will never happen and nobody can do it.” He added that the NDA government was committed to preserve and protect the unique culture and tradition of the north-east. Article 371 has special provisions to preserve the cultural heritage and customary laws of north-eastern states.

The home minister said, “Previously, the region got importance on political lines. But PM Narendra Modi initiated efforts to unite the NE with the rest of the country.” Shah said central ministers visited the region more than 200 times in the past five years and the PM visited 30 times.

He added that the northeast enjoyed a special place in the country for its unique culture and tradition and unless the region was developed, cultural integration could not take place.

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