India has again rejected the “absurd claims” and “baseless arguments” made by China on Arunachal Pradesh, asserting that the northeast State is an “integral and inalienable part of India.”

The Ministry of External Affairs in an official statement today noted that the people of Arunachal Pradesh will “continue to benefit” from India’s development programmes and infrastructure projects.

“We have noted the comments made by the Spokesperson of the Chinese Defence Ministry advancing absurd claims over the territory of the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh. Repeating baseless arguments in this regard does not lend such claims any validity,” said the official spokesperson of MEA, Randhir Jaiswal.

“Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. Its people will continue to benefit from our development programmes and infrastructure projects,” the statement added.

The Chinese defence ministry recently reiterated its claim over Arunachal Pradesh, terming the Indian State as as “Zangan- an inherent part of China’s territory”.

“Zangnan is China’s inherent territory, and China never recognizes and firmly opposes India’s illegal establishment of the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’,” said spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defence Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang on March 15.

The Chinese military’s comments came a few days after India sent out a strong rebuttal to China for the latter’s comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

In an earlier statement, MEA noted that China’s objection to visits by Indian leaders or India’s developmental projects “does not stand to reason”.

“We reject the comments made by the Chinese side regarding the visit of the Prime Minister to Arunachal Pradesh. Indian leaders visit Arunachal Pradesh from time to time, as they visit other States of India. Objecting to such visits or India’s developmental projects does not stand to reason,” MEA official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said on March 12.

“Further, it will not change the reality that the State of Arunachal Pradesh was, is, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. Chinese side has been made aware of this consistent position on several occasions,” the spokesperson added.

PM Modi on March 9 had virtually inaugurated the strategic Sela Tunnel during an event held in Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh.

The tunnel has been constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) at an altitude of 13,000 feet on the road connecting Tezpur, Assam to Tawang in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh near the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

China, which claims Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet, routinely objects to Indian leaders’ visits to the state to highlight its claims. Beijing has also named the area as Zangnan.

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