ITANAGAR, 21 Jan: China’s foreign affairs ministry on Friday issued a statement on the reported abduction of Arunachalee youth Miram Taron, of Zido village in Upper Siang district, from the line of actual control (LAC) in Tuting area, stating that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) controls the border according to law and cracks down on illegal border entry and exit.
China’s foreign affairs ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was quoted as saying, “Zangnan (southern part of Xizang) is China’s territory. China always opposes India’s illegal encroachment of Zangnan. The PLA controls the border according to law and cracks down on illegal border entry and exit.”
China refers to Arunachal as ‘Zangnan’. The Chinese foreign affairs ministry’s latest statement comes four days after Taron was abducted. The statement slightly differs from China’s initial statement that it was not aware of the youth’s disappearance.
The Indian Army had on Thursday sought the PLA’s assistance to locate Taron on their side and return him as per established protocol.
Taron was reportedly abducted on 18 January when he and his friend Johny Yaying were collecting herbs in the forest along the LAC. Johny reportedly managed to escape and reported the incident to the villagers and the authorities on 19 January.
The Arunachal Times sought a reaction from the Indian Army through the defence public relations officer. However, the Indian Army did not comment on the latest statement of the Chinese foreign affairs ministry.