A day after Japan proposed to step up investment in India’s north-eastern states, China hinted it is rattled with the announcement. Reacting to the proposal, China today said it is opposed to any foreign investments including that from Japan in India’s North East region and is against any third party’s involvement in resolving its border disputes with India, according to PTI.
The Chinese reaction came as a surprise as India is within its rights to allow foreign investment on its territory across the country. North-eastern states are permanent parts of the Indian Union.
Terming India’s north-east as “disputed areas”, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters that Beijing is opposed to any foreign investment in the region.
Tokyo’s plan to increase investment in the north-east was announced on Thursday during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India. Abe and India PM Narendra Modi also signed several agreements on research and defence projects, including the one on India’s first Bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
Reacting on the India-Japan joint declaration which mentioned the north-east, Hua today said,”You also mentioned Act East policy. You must be clear that the boundary of India and China border area has not been totally delimited. We have disputes on the eastern section of the boundary,” she said, adding, “We are now trying to seek a solution through negotiations that is acceptable to both sides. Under such circumstances, various parties should respect such aspects and any third party should not be involved in our efforts to resolve the disputes.”
What India-Japan Joint Statement actually said about the north-east
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the India-Japan cooperation on development of India’s North Eastern Region (NER) as a concrete symbol of developing synergies between India’s Act East policy and Japan’s Free and Open Indo Pacific Strategy. In this context, they noted with satisfaction the setting up of the India-Japan Act East Forum. They appreciated the cooperation between Japan and North Eastern Region of India, ranging from key infrastructure such as road connectivity, electricity, water supply and sewage, to social and environmental sustainability such as afforestation and community empowerment, as well as people-to-people exchanges including the “IRIS Program” inviting youth from the NER to Japan.
Why China is opposed to Japanese plan
Beijing claims Arunachal Pradesh as southern Tibet. Hua said that China was “closely following” Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to India. Hua also hoped that India and Japan would be conducive to the regional peace and stability.
Beijing’s nervousness on Japanese plan to increase investment in the north-east, however, is baseless. India needs foreign investment for the development of north-eastern states.
Chinese media reaction
Chinese media has surprisingly not made any dramatic comment on the India-Japan joint declaration.Earlier, Chinese state media, Global Times, had tried to belittle growing India-Japan ties, by saying, the “fundamental issue” in Asia is development. “Whoever develops fast will come out on top as the final winner. Since geopolitical issues can easily disturb people’s attention, China must be fully focused to make sound development a priority of its national foreign strategy,” it said, adding, “We can never follow India and Japan that have somewhat lost themselves.”
It further said, . “A strong China has the confidence that no Asian country can substantially challenge China’s national security, nor can they by grouping together,” it said.