India rebuffs Beijing’s objection; says Richard Verma visited an integral part of the country
India on Monday rebuffed China for its objection to US Ambassador Richard Verma’s recent visit to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. It said there was “nothing unusual” about his trip to a State that was an integral part of the country. But China saw in the visit an attempt by a third party meddling in the border dispute between New Delhi and Beijing
“The U.S. Ambassador visited Arunachal Pradesh, a State which is an integral part of the country to which he is accredited. There is nothing unusual in it,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in New Delhi.
China claims more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) of territory disputed by India in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. Much of that forms the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls South Tibet.
Ambassador Verma posted photos on his Twitter account on October 21 of his recent trip to Arunachal Pradesh, thanking Indian officials for their “warm hospitality” and calling the region a “magical place.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China was “firmly opposed” to the U.S. diplomat’s actions, which he said would “damage the hard-earned peace and tranquillity of the China-India border region.”
“Any responsible third party should respect efforts by China and India to seek peaceful and stable reconciliation and not the opposite,” Mr. Lu told a regular press briefing in Beijing. “We urge the United States to stop getting involved in the China-India territorial dispute and do more to benefit this region’s peace and tranquillity,” he said, adding that China and India were handling the matter appropriately through talks.
For a long time, China has been playing all sorts of tricks to annoy India on the issue of Arunachal Pradesh; and when India plays back the same game, Beijing speaks of peace and tranquility. For instance, in August, China was angered by India’s plans to place advanced cruise missiles in Arunachal. While objecting, it forgot that it has deployed its own cruise missiles in immorally-occupied Tibet.