China complains again over Arunachal, this time over visit of President Ram Nath Kovind

Beijing: China on Monday objected to President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying India should refrain from ‘complicating’ the border ‘dispute’ when bilateral relations are at a ‘crucial moment’.

“The Chinese government never acknowledged the so-called Arunachal Pradesh and our position on the border issue is consistent and clear,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told the media when asked about President Kovind’s visit to Arunachal, which China claims as ‘southern Tibet’.

Both countries are “in the process of settling this issue through negotiation and consultation and seek to reach to a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to all”, he added.

Pending final settlement all parties should work for peace and tranquillity, Lu further said, as per PTI.

The President arrived in Arunachal Pradesh on a four-day tour of the Northeast and attended the valedictory function organised at the Indira Gandhi Park to mark 40 years of the Vivekananda Kendra.

Later, he also inaugurated the new Assembly building and addressed the legislators at a special Session.

China routinely objects to any senior Indian officials’ visit to the area.

India has dismissed Beijing’s objections, maintaining that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country and Indian leaders are as much free to visit the state as they are to any other part of the country.

On November 6, China had raised an objection to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh.

It had said that her tour of the “disputed area” was not conducive to the peace and tranquillity of the region.

Sitharaman had visited forward Army posts in Anjaw district that borders China to take stock of defence preparedness.

“As to Indian Defence Minister’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, you must be very clear about China’s position,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said at a media briefing.

“There is a dispute on the eastern section of the China-India boundary. So this visit by the Indian side to the disputed area is not conducive to the peace and tranquillity of the relevant region,” she had added.

Earlier, Sitharaman had also visited Nathu La area on the India-China border in Sikkim and had greeted the People’s Liberation Army soldiers across the border.

(With PTI inputs)