Arunachal leaders rubbish China’s ‘transgression’ charge

ITANAGAR/BEIJING, Apr 9: Cutting across party lines, political leaders in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday slammed China for its charge of ‘transgression’ against the Indian Army in the state’s strategically sensitive Asaphila region.
From the ruling BJP to the opposition Congress and the PPA, the leaders spoke out against China, stressing that the area belonged to India.
The Asaphila region is in Arunachal Pradesh and belongs to India and such patrolling is a regular practice there, Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Takam Sanjoy said.
“China’s protest at a border personnel meeting (BPM) on March 15… is shocking and surprising,” Sanjoy, a former MP, said, adding that the charge was baseless.
PTI reported yesterday the Chinese military had protested against the Indian Army’s ‘transgression’ into the Asaphila area along the disputed border in Arunachal Pradesh – a charge that was roundly rejected by the Indian side.
Taking strong exception to repeated allegations made by China, state BJP vice president Dominic Tadar said Beijing needed to shed its negative attitude.
State Civil Supplies Minister Kamlung Mossang, who represents the sensitive Miao Assembly constituency of Changlang district, said no nation should interfere in India’s internal matters.
“What it (India) does and where is up to India’s lawmakers, planners and executors and nobody else’s affair,” he said.
While Sanjoy took a dig at the BJP-led NDA government for its “weak diplomatic policy” which he said had led to the current situation, senior People’s Party Leader (PPA) Takam Pario slammed Beijing, saying such charges had no ground – political or geographical.
“Beijing should not undermine democratically elected governments ruling India as well as Arunachal Pradesh. India is the largest democracy in the world and always toes democratic principles in its every action,” Pario said, and advised China to rise above its “narrow diplomatic attitude.”
PPA president Kahfa Begin charged China with forcibly occupying large areas of India following the 1962 war.
Citing the example of Duya village where indigenous Nah and Tagin tribes of Arunachal Pradesh still live, he said China should return India’s land instead of claiming Indian territory as its own.
China on LAC
Meanwhile, China on Monday asked India to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and refrain from ‘hyping up’ the boundary issue and work with it to jointly maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.
The Chinese foreign ministry’s remarks came in response to a report that China has lodged a strong protest with New Delhi, alleging ‘transgression’ by the Indian troops in the strategically sensitive Asaphila area along Arunachal Pradesh. The Indian side has dismissed Beijing’s complaint.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang skirted a direct response to the report and said, “I do not understand the specific state of affairs that you mentioned that happened recently on the Sino-Indian border.”
“Prior to the resolution of the border issue, it is hoped that the Indian side abides by the agreement protocol, respect and obey the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and refrain from hyping up the issue and work with China to jointly maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas,” Geng said.
He, however, reiterated China’s repeated stand that Beijing never recognized Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as part of southern Tibet.
“China’s position on the Sino-Indian boundary issue is consistent and clear. The Chinese government has never acknowledged the so-called Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.
“Both China and India are negotiating to resolve the boundary issue between the two countries and seek a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to both sides,” he said.
Both the countries have a ‘special representative talks’ mechanism to resolve the boundary issue.
The two countries so far have held 20 rounds of talks to resolve the boundary dispute and worked out different mechanisms to keep peace along the 3,488 km-long LAC.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to due to visit China in June to take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit to be held in the Chinese city of Qingdao. (PTI)