New Delhi: India
Monday expressed its objections and surprise at China's protest over
Defence Minister A.K. Antony's visit to Arunachal Pradesh and protested
against any outside interference in the state.
is a part and parcel of India. The defence minister is entitled to go
anywhere in the country he considers necessary," External Affairs Minister
S.M. Krishna told reporters here.
The question of any country
raising objection does not come into consideration, said Krishna.
who visited Arunachal Pradesh Feb 20 for the Silver Jubilee celebrations
of its statehood in state capital Itanagar, called the Chinese comments
"objectionable". He had also announced a slew of infrastructure
development projects for the border state that day.
he had the right and the duty as the defence minister of India to visit
all border states any time.
""I was surprised to see such a
reaction. I feel it is most unfortunate and, at the same time, it is
really objectionable. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India," he
told reporters here on the sidelines of a National Maritime Foundation
"I have the right and the duty as the defence
minister of India to visit all border states of the country," he added.
to the Indian defence minister's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei had Saturday asked "India to work with
China to maintain peace and stability in border areas".
asserted that China advocated seeking a fair and rational solution through
equal and friendly negotiations, adding that Bejing's stance on
Sino-Indian border issues, including disputes regarding the eastern
section, has been consistent and clear-cut.
He also called upon
India to desist from taking any action that could complicate the issue.
was reacting to media reports about Indian officials participating in
activities organised by the "so-called Arunachal region", without directly
referring to Antony's visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
Chinese assertion on Arunachal Pradesh came more than a month after
special representatives of India and China held the 15th round of boundary
talks here to discuss a framework that can form the basis for resolving
their decades-old boundary dispute.
Beijing's claims on Arunachal
Pradesh are part of the boundary negotiations between the two rising Asian
In the boundary negotiations, China hardened its stance
on Arunachal Pradesh, part of its negotiating tactic to extract
concessions from India in any final boundary settlement.
month, China had denied visa to a senior Indian Air Force officer
belonging to Arunachal Pradesh to visit that country as part of a defence
delegation visiting that country. This had prompted New Delhi to scale
down the size of the delegation.