NEW DELHI: The Government of India (GoI) on Saturday rubbished China's objection to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Arunachal Pradesh visit and reiterated that the "state of Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India."
Sending out a strong message to Beijing, the MEA spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar said, "Indian leaders visit Arunachal Pradesh from time to time, as they visit other parts of India. This consistent position has been conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions."
''The state of Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India,'' the MEA spokesperson said.
MEA's response to media query on Chinese MFA’s statement on PM's visit to Arunachal Pradesh today: This consistent position has been conveyed to Chinese side on several occasions https://t.co/Vg9xAyMzG9
— ANI (@ANI) February 9, 2019
The strong response from the MEA came shortly after China raised objections to Prime Minister's Arunachal Pradesh visit, calling on the Indian side to "cherish the momentum" in bilateral ties and "refrain from actions" that may lead to "escalation of disputes".
A statement issued on China's Foreign Ministry website cited its Spokesperson Hua Chunying as saying, "China urges the Indian side to bear in mind the common interests of the two countries, respect the interests and concerns of the Chinese side, cherish the momentum of improvement in bilateral relations, and refrain from any action that may lead to the escalation of disputes or complicate the boundary question."
"The Chinese government has never recognized the so-called "Arunachal Pradesh" and is firmly opposed to the Indian leader's visit to the East Section of the China-India boundary,"Hua said.
"China's position on the China-India boundary question is consistent and clear-cut," he added.
PM Modi was in Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday. During his visit to the state, the PM launched several projects worth Rs 4,000 crore in the state. The PM also laid the foundation stone for the construction of Greenfield Airport at Hollongi and Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh.
He also dedicated a new DD Channel for Arunachal Pradesh - DD Arun Prabha at IG Park, Itanagar and laid a foundation stone for a permanent campus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) at Jote, Arunachal Pradesh.
China and India have been trying to reset the ties after the 2-month long Doklam crisis in 2017 that had impacted the relationship. Chinese forces had attempted to build a road on the Doklam plateau in Bhutan in 2017, which was stopped by the Indian Army leading to a two-month long stand-off between the two sides.
Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping for the four times in 2018, starting with the informal summit in Wuhan in April. Chinese president Xi Jinping is slated to visit India this year for the second informal summit.