India firmly rejects Chinese objections to PM Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh

China’s criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh was met with a firm response from India on Tuesday. Spokesman for the External Affairs Ministry...

China’s criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh was met with a firm response from India on Tuesday. Spokesman for the External Affairs Ministry Randhir Jaiswal reaffirmed India’s steadfast position, saying that Indian politicians frequently travel to Arunachal Pradesh just like they do other states in the country. China’s complaints, Jaiswal stressed, are baseless and would not change the fact that Arunachal Pradesh is an essential part of India.

The Indian Foreign Ministry’s statement came in response to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s declaration that Beijing strongly opposes Modi’s activities in the region and has formally protested against India’s actions. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, a claim rejected by India, which maintains that Arunachal Pradesh has always been an integral part of its territory.

The contentious issue adds strain to the already complex relationship between the two nuclear-armed neighbors who share a poorly demarcated 3,000-km frontier, much of which remains disputed.

Tensions escalated in 2020 with fatal clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in the western Himalayas, resulting in casualties on both sides. Additionally, China exacerbated tensions by assigning Chinese names to 11 locations within Arunachal Pradesh last year, further fueling the territorial dispute.

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