New Delhi, Feb 9 : India on Saturday asserted in crystal clear language that the state of Arunachal Pradesh is an 'integral and inalienable' part of India and there was nothing wrong in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Indian leaders visiting the northeastern state.
"The State of Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. Indian leaders visit Arunachal Pradesh from time to time, as they visit other parts of India," MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in reply to a question.
"This consistent position has been conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions," he said.
The MEA spokesman's remarks come close on the heels of Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying stating that: "China's position on the China-India boundary question is consistent and clear-cut. The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called "Arunachal Pradesh" and is firmly opposed to the Indian leader's visit to the East Section of the China-India boundary".
The Chinese spokesperson was specifically asked: "It is reported that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the so-called "Arunachal Pradesh" on February 9th. What is your comment?" - according to Chinese Foreign ministry.
She further said answering to the media query that: "China urges the Indian side to bear in mind the common interests of the two countries, respect the interests and concerns of the Chinese side, cherish the momentum of improvement in bilateral relations, and refrain from any action that may lead to the escalation of disputes or complicate the boundary question".
During his visit to Arunachal Pradesh, Prime Minister Modi on Saturday inaugurated and laid foundation stone of projects in Arunachal Pradesh worth over Rs 4,000 crore.
China has from to time raised issues about the north-eastern state and even claimed 'Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet'.
India and China have so far held 21 rounds of talks to resolve the border dispute.
In 2017, China had objected to the visit of the Dalai Lama to China as well.(UNI)