India on Tuesday ‘rejected’ China’s objection to Union home minister Amit Shah’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying that the state “was, is, and always remain an integral and inalienable part of India”. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “Objection to such visit does not stand to reason and will not change above reality.”
We completely reject the comments made by the Chinese Official Spokesperson. Indian leaders routinely travel to the state of Arunachal Pradesh as they do to any other state of India,” the statement read.
On Monday, China said that Shah’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh “violated Beijing’s territorial sovereignty” and was “not conducive to peace and tranquility along the border.” It also claimed the northeastern state as South Tibet – a part of the Tibet Autonomous Region – and objected to any official visits to the state.
“Zangnan (South Tibet in Chinese) is China’s territory,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.
The union home minister had visited the northeastern state in the backdrop of Beijing “standardising” the names of 11 places including villages and mountain peaks in the state last week.
In a clear message to China during his address, Shah had said that “no one can dare cast an evil eye on India’s territorial integrity and encroach even an inch of our land”. He added that the “era when anyone could encroach the borderlands of India was over.”
Notably, China has also previously protested Indian officials’ visit to Arunachal Pradesh – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in 2018, and President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit in 2017.