China criticised Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s maiden visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying her tour of the “disputed area” is not conducive to peace in the frontier region and asked New Delhi to create an “enabling environment” to resolve the border row. India’s first woman defence minister Sitharaman visited forward army posts in remote Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh bordering China to take stock of the defence preparedness. “As to Indian Defence Minister visit to Arunachal Pradesh, you must be very clear about China’s position,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing. “There is a dispute on the eastern section of the China-India boundary. So this visit by the Indian side to the disputed area is not conducive to the peace and tranquillity of the relevant region,” she said in a response to a question.
The Indian side should work with the Chinese side to make contribution to properly revolving the issue through dialogue and create enabling environment and conditions, she said. “Hope India will work China for the shared goal, seek a solution acceptable to both sides and accommodate our concerns in a balanced way,” she said. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet and routinely objects to top Indian officials’ visit to the area. In April, China criticised India’s decision to allow Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh, saying it could cause serious damage to relations.
The Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China stretches to 3,488 kms. Both sides have held 19 rounds of talks by the Special Representatives to resolve the dispute. Sitharaman had visited Nathu La area on the India-China border in Sikkim last month and greeted the People’s Liberation Army soldiers across the border.