Taking exception to a US diplomat’s recent remarks that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India, China today said it plans to seek a clarification from Washington as any “irresponsible” third party intervention in Sino-Indian border dispute will “complicate” the issue.
“The Chinese side has noted the report and will ask the US side for verification and clarification,” Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a written response to a question from PTI here about US Consul General in Kolkata Craig L Hall’s comments that Washington regards Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as Southern Tibet, as part of India.
“But clearly the statement by the US side is completely inconsistent with the fact,” it said.
Hall during his meeting with Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul on April 28 in Itanagar said that the US government is absolutely clear that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.
In its rejoinder, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said: “China and India are wise and capable enough to deal with their own issue and safeguard the fundamental and long-term interests of the two peoples.
“The intervention of any third party will only complicate the issue and is highly irresponsible.”
The two countries last month completed the 19th round of border talks here by the Special Representatives – National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.
The Line of Actual Control (LAC) covers the 3,488 km-long border. While China says that the boundary dispute is confined to 2,000 kms, mainly in Arunachal Pradesh in eastern sector which it claims as part of southern Tibet, India asserts that the dispute covered the whole of the LAC including the Aksai Chin occupied by China during the 1962 war.
In its response to Hall’s remarks, the Chinese Ministry said: “The boundary question between China and India bears on China’s territorial sovereignty and Chinese people’s sentiment.
“All the third parties must respect the history and reality concerning the boundary question, respect efforts by China and India to solve territorial disputes through negotiations, not get involved in the disputes or take sides on issues relating to the ownership of disputed territory.”
“As is known to all, the boundary between China and India is yet to be officially drawn. The two countries are striving to reach a fair, equitable and mutually acceptable settlement on the boundary question through negotiations.
“The two still have major disputes over the eastern section of the boundary, which is the reason why China and India negotiate with each other,” said the Ministry.
It further added: “Sound negotiations between China and India on the boundary question as well as peace and tranquillity in the border areas over recent years have created favourable conditions for the growth of bilateral relations and their respective development.”