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We don't recognise Arunachal Pradesh: China
Anil K Joseph in Beijing | July 25, 2003 18:19 IST
Saying that it has not recognised Arunachal Pradesh as part of India, China on Friday alleged that 'Indian people' crossed the eastern sector of Line of Actual Control in the northeastern state and not its forces as claimed by New Delhi.
Denying a report published in a Delhi newspaper that Chinese forces had transgressed into Indian territory near the LAC, when Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was visiting Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said China does not recognise that Arunachal Pradesh is part of India.
China mum on Sikkim
A Ministry External Affairs spokesman on Wednesday said the Indian government was aware of the transgression of the LAC by a patrol on June 26, 2003 in Asaphila area of the upper Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh. This is an area where there are differences in perception of the LAC between the two sides.
"As far as the incident mentioned, after investigations, we have found that the Indian side crossed the eastern sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). At the request of the Chinese side, the Indian people who crossed the LAC, returned to the Indian side of the LAC," Kong said.
China lays claim to 90,000 sq kms of land in Arunachal Pradesh and does not recognise the northeastern state as part of Indian territory.
India accuses China of occupying approximately 38,000 square kilometres of territory in Kashmir. In addition, under the so-called Sino-Pakistan 'boundary agreement' of 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq kms of Indian territory in Pakistan occupied Kashmir to China.
Officials from the two sides have met 15 times since late 1980s in an effort to find a peaceful solution to the border dispute.
However, little progress has been achieved with both sides only managing to exchange sample maps of the middle sector, the least contentious among the eastern, middle and western sectors.
Taking into account the lack of progress, during Vajpayee's visit to China, both governments appointed a special representative to explore from the political perspective of the overall bilateral relationship, the framework of a boundary settlement.
While India appointed National Security Adviser, Brajesh Mishra as its special representative, China named Executive Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo as its special representative.
The two sides had also agreed on the continued maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas and continued implementation of the 1993 and 1996 agreements, including clarification of the LAC.
The first-ever joint statement signed by the Indian and Chinese Prime Ministers also reiterated their readiness to seek 'a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution through consultations on an equal footing'.
More reports from China