BEIJING, Nov 6: China on Monday said defence minister Nirmala Sithraman’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh would destabilise peace in the “disputed” region, and added that New Delhi and Beijing should work together to maintain peace along the contested boundary.
In her first visit to the state as defence minister, Sitharaman on Sunday travelled to forward army posts in the remote Anjaw district. Arunachal Pradesh borders China, which Beijing claims is part of south Tibet.
Sitharaman was accompanied by general officer commanding-in-chief of Eastern Command Lt. Gen. Abhay Krishna and other senior army officers.
“You must be very clear about China’s position. There is a dispute in the eastern section of the China India boundary. This visit by the Indian side to this disputed area is not conducive to peace and tranquility of the relevant region,” said Hua Chunying, the spokesperson for the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs at a regular press briefing.
“We hope the Indian side would work with the Chinese side to continue to make contribution to properly resolve the boundary issue through dialogue and create an enabling atmosphere and condition for this,” Chunying said.
The Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China stretches to 3,488 kms. Both sides have held 19 rounds of talks by the Special Representatives to resolve the dispute.
China’s reaction to Sitharaman’s Arunachal visit was markedly different from how it reacted when she visited forward army posts at Nathula pass in Sikkim and exchanged greetings with Chinese soldiers across the border in October.
Spiritual leader Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh had sparked a row earlier this year. (PTI)