China Reiterates Claim to Arunachal Pradesh

Amid tensions over territorial claims in the South and East China Seas, China marked a visit by Indian president Pranab Mukherjee to Arunachal Pradesh by reiterating China’s claim to the region. From Krishna N Das and Adam Jourdan at Reuters:

The two countries, which fought a brief border war in 1962, only last month signed a pact to ensure that differences on the border do not spark a confrontation.

But Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to the state of Arunachal Pradesh in the remote eastern stretch of the Himalayas that China claims as its own provoked a fresh exchange of words.

“We hope that India will proceed along with China, protecting our broad relationship, and will not take any measures that could complicate the problem, and together we can protect peace and security in the border regions,” China’s official news agency, Xinhua, quoted Qin Gang, a spokesman of the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as saying.

[…] China lays claim to more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) disputed by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas, while India says China occupies 38,000 square km of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west. [Source]

At The Hindu, Ananth Krishnan laid out the two sides’ dueling historical claims:

“The so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ was established largely on the three areas of China’s Tibet – Monyul, Loyul and Lower Tsayul currently under Indian illegal occupation,” the Xinhua report said.

“These three areas,” it added, “located between the illegal ‘Mcmahon Line’ and the traditional customary boundary between China and India, have always been Chinese territory. In 1914, the colonialists secretly contrived the illegal ‘Mcmahon Line’ in an attempt to incorporate into India the above-mentioned three areas of Chinese territory. None of the successive Chinese governments have ever recognised this line,” the report issued by the official State-run news agency said.

[…] It remained unclear whether the Xinhua report was issued in response to Friday’s speech by President Pranab Mukherjee to the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Drawing upon the State’s historical and cultural importance, the President said the State “finds mention in the Puranas and the Mahabharata”.

“It is believed that here Sage Parashuram washed away his sins, Sage Vyasa meditated, King Bhishmaka founded his kingdom and Lord Krishna married his consort Rukmini,” he said. “Arunachal is also home to the 400-year-old Tawang Monastry and the birth place of the sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso,” he added. [Source]

See more on the recent agreements between China and India and on last year’s 50th anniversary of the 1962 war via CDT

December 2, 2013 5:20 PM
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