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India calls Arunachal 'inalienable part of country' after China objects to PM Modi's visit

India's Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday reacted sharply to China's opposition on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh asserting that the northeastern state is an “integral and inalienable part” of India.

“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,” the MEA said in a statement.

"This consistent position has been conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions," the ministry's statement added.

China on Saturday "firmly opposed" Modi's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, asserting that it has never recognised the sensitive border state and the Indian leadership should refrain from any action that may "complicate the boundary question".

Prime Minister Modi Saturday inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of projects in Arunachal Pradesh worth over Rs 4,000 crore and said his government was giving a lot of importance to improve connectivity in the border state.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in response to a question on Modi's visit said, "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."

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," she said in her reaction posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's website.

China claims the north-eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet.

India and China have so far held 21 rounds of talks to resolve the border dispute.

The India-China border dispute covers 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).

China routinely objects to Indian leaders visiting Arunachal Pradesh to highlight its stand.

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