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China objects to Amit Shah's visit to Arunachal Pradesh

In Itanagar, the home minster said that the Centre had no intention of abrogating Article 371

By PTI in Beijing and Itanagar
  • Published 20.02.20, 3:48 PM
  • Updated 20.02.20, 4:06 PM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Artistes perform as Union home minister Amit Shah arrives to attend the 34th statehood day of Arunachal Pradesh, in Lakhimpur Kheri district, Thursday, February 20, 2020 PTI

China, which claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of south Tibet, has objected to Union home minister Amit Shah's visit there to attend the statehood day on Thursday, saying it is "firmly opposed" to his trip as it violates Beijing's "territorial sovereignty and sabotages political mutual trust".

Shah is in Arunachal Pradesh to attend the 34th statehood day function and launch a number of projects related to industry and roads, officials said.

China routinely objects to Indian leaders' visits to the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh to highlight its claims over it.

"China's position on the eastern sector of the China-India boundary, or the southern part of China's Tibet region, is consistent and clear," China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told online media briefing in Beijing on Thursday while replying to a question.

"The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called 'Arunachal Pradesh' and is firmly opposed to the Indian politician's visit to the southern part of China's Tibet region as it violated China's territorial sovereignty, undermined stability of the border area, sabotaged political mutual trust, and violated relevant bilateral agreement," he said.

"The Chinese side urges the Indian side to stop taking any action that may further complicate the border issue and take concrete actions to uphold peace and tranquility of the border area," he said.

The India-China border dispute covers 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet and the two countries have so far held 22 rounds of Special Representatives talks to resolve the border dispute.

On February 20, Arunachal Pradesh became a full state from being a union territory.

No intention to scrap Article 371, says Shah in Itanagar

During his visit to Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Shah reaffirmed the government's commitment to protect the unique culture of the Northeast.

The home minister said misinformation was being spread after abrogation of special provisions of Article 370 that an identical fate awaited Article 371 in the region.

Most of the states that have special provisions under Article 371 are in the Northeast. These provisions are aimed at preserving their cultural heritage and customary laws.

Addressing a gathering to mark the 34th foundation day of Arunachal Pradesh, Shah said the Northeast was only geographically united with the rest of India before 2014 when Narendra Modi assumed office of the Prime Minister.

"The real emotional integration of the region with the rest of the country happened only under the Modi government," he said.

Shah said, "misinformation was spread after abrogation of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, that Article 371 will also be scrapped. It will never happen. Nobody has any such intention."

Referring to the problems of militancy and inter-state boundary disputes in the region, the home minister said the Modi government was committed to their resolution.

"When we come to seek your votes in 2024, the Northeast will have been free from problems like militancy and inter-state strife," he said.