File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping Photograph:( Reuters )
Spokesperson of India's Ministry of External Affairs reminded Bejing that, "Arunachal Pradesh has always been and will always remain an inalienable part of India"
India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday slammed China, even as Bejing continued to indulge in provocative behaviour with New Delhi. Calling Chinese govt issuing new names for 15 locations in Arunachal Pradesh as a "ridiculous exercise to support untenable territorial claims", MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "instead of engaging in such antics China will work constructively with us to resolve the outstanding friction points in areas along the Western Sector of the LAC in India-China border areas."
China has been involved in a military buildup at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh since 2020. That year also saw the Galwan incident in which India lost 20 of its soldiers, while China claimed to have lost only 4 soldiers, a figure which is doubted given the country's non-transparent record.
MEA spokesperson reminded Bejing that, "Arunachal Pradesh has always been and will always remain an inalienable part of India" and calling Tuting as “DouDeng” or River Siyom as “XiYueMu” or even Kibithu as “Daba” won't "alter the fact".
China sees the Indian state as the so-called "South Tibet", and has been in the past indulging in such moves. China had also sought to assign names to places in Arunachal Pradesh in April 2017.
This time, Beijing's provocations started on January 1, 2022, with release of videos of Chinese soldiers unfurling flags in areas purported to be Galwan. Later, security establishment sources released pictures of Indian soldiers in Galwan dismissing the claims.
Last year saw disengagement at areas like Pangong lake, Gogra in eastern Ladakh but tensions remain high as China continues to undertake rapid infrastructural development works on its side of LAC.
Reacting to development of bridge being made at the Pangong lake, spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "this bridge is being constructed in areas that have been under illegal occupation by China for around 60 years now" and "India has never accepted such illegal occupation."
India has improved development of border infrastructure significantly. Around 100 bridges, roads, tunnels constructed by Border Road Organisation (BRO) have been inaugurated in 2021. BRO constructed road over Umling La Pass, in Eastern Ladakh, at 19,024 ft above sea level. It is the highest motorable road in the world and was inaugurated virtually by Indian defence minister on December 28, 2021.
Asked about the letter written by Political Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy to Indian MP for attending Tibet event, spokesperson said, "substance, tone and tenor of the letter are inappropriate" and "Chinese side should note that India is a vibrant democracy and Hon’ble MPs, as representatives of the people, undertake activities as per their views and beliefs."
Advising the Chinese to "refrain from hyping normal activities by Hon’ble MPs", spokesperson said that it could "complicate further the situation in our bilateral relations."
The Indian MPs who participated in the meet were--Jairam Ramesh, Manish Tiwari, Sujeet Kumar, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Ramdas Athawale and Maneka Gandhi.
The letter by Political Counsellor at Chinese Embassy to India Zhou Yongsheng called on Indian MPs to not engage with "out-and-out separatist political group and an illegal organization". The letter is seen as a wolf warrior diplomacy by China, part of global trend by its diplomats who have been doing this in past and across the world.