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China objects to President Ram Nath Kovind's visit to Arunachal Pradesh

China objects to President Ram Nath Kovind's visit to Arunachal Pradesh

"China and India and are in the process of settling this issue (border disputes) through negotiation and consultation, and seek to reach a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to all".

"I respect from the bottom of my heart the rich traditions of the people of Arunachal Pradesh and hope that the members here would strive to protect and preserve these age-old traditions", he said.

Mr. Kovind said Arunachal Pradesh - where different tribes coexisted and also conserved their own traditions - expressed India's unity in diversity beautifully. Chinese foreign ministry said the talks were "in the fundamental interest of both countries to maintain the healthy and stable development of China-India relations and is also the common expectation of both the region and the global community".

On Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said China had "never recognised Arunachal Pradesh" and insisted that Indian leaders should desist from visiting the state which the Communist country terms as a "disputed region".

In April, China slammed India's decision to host Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in the same region, saying it could cause serious damage to relations. "China resolutely opposes Indian leaders' activities in disputed regions".

Barely two weeks ago, Beijing had criticised defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman's visit to the state.

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Sitharaman had visited forward Army posts in Anjaw district that borders China to take stock of defence preparedness.

The Chinese foreign ministry had then reacted to Sitharaman's visit saying: "You must be very clear about China's position..."

China routinely objects to any senior Indian officials' visit to the area.

This was Mr. Kovind's first visit to the State - which China claims is part of Tibet - after becoming President.

He narrated a tale from the life of Chanakya on refraining from use of government resources for private works and said, "It was by maintaining the highest standards of honesty, integrity and commitment that Chanakya could play an integral role in forming the erstwhile kingdom of "Magadh", whose boundaries extended beyond modern India and laid the foundation for this great nation".

The Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China stretches 3,488km. Both sides have held 19 rounds of talks by the Special Representatives to resolve the dispute.


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