India Defends Prime Minister Modi’s Visit to Arunachal Pradesh Despite Chinese Objections

India has rebuffed Chinese objections to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh, asserting that the northeastern border state has always been an integral part of India.

The Indian Foreign Ministry’s response comes in the wake of a statement from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, who expressed Beijing’s firm opposition to Modi’s activities in the region and lodged a diplomatic protest with India.

Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday aimed to inaugurate infrastructure projects, including a tunnel enhancing all-weather connectivity to the strategically vital border area of Tawang, facilitating faster troop movements in the frontier region.

China lays claim to Arunachal Pradesh, considering it part of southern Tibet, but India rejects this assertion, reaffirming Arunachal Pradesh’s status as an integral part of India.

Randhir Jaiswal, India’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, emphasized that Indian leaders regularly visit Arunachal Pradesh, akin to other states in the country, and objected to China’s opposition to such visits or India’s developmental projects. Jaiswal reiterated that Arunachal Pradesh remains an integral and inalienable part of India.

The two nuclear-armed neighbors share a 3,000-km (1,860-mile) frontier, much of which lacks clear demarcation. Tensions between India and China escalated in 2020, resulting in casualties on both sides during clashes in the western Himalayas.

With a history of uneasy neighborly relations dating back to a border war in 1962, both countries have fortified positions and deployed additional troops and equipment along the border.

In a provocative move last year, China further heightened tensions by assigning Chinese names to 11 locations in Arunachal Pradesh.

Quest: Cris-Edesiri Odjomah

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