China’s recent claims on Arunachal Pradesh are absurd, baseless and invalid, the Ministry of External Affairs has said.

“We have noted the comments made by the Spokesperson of the Chinese Defence Ministry advancing absurd claims over the territory of the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh. Repeating baseless arguments in this regard does not lend such claims any validity,” MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said in a statement on Tuesday.

Jaiswal was responding to media queries on comments made by the Chinese Defence Ministry Spokesperson last week on Arunachal Pradesh. Chinese spokesperson reiterated claim that the southern part of Xizang/Tibet (which is Arunachal Pradesh), was an inherent part of China’s territory and also said Beijing did not acknowledge and firmly opposed the “so-called Arunachal Pradesh illegally established by India”, according to official media reports.

Rejecting China’s claims, Jaiswal said that Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. “Its people will continue to benefit from our development programmes and infrastructure projects,” he said.

Military readiness

The Chinese Spokesperson’s comments were made in reaction to India’s enhancement of its military readiness through the Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh, according to a report posted in China’s Defence Ministry website on Friday.

On March 9, Prime Minister Modi dedicated to the nation the Sela Tunnel project constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), at a cost of ₹825 crore, at an altitude of 13,000 feet on the road connecting Tezpur, Assam to Tawang in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.

All-weather connectivity

The tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity to Tawang across Sela Pass on the Balipara - Chariduar - Tawang Road, boosting the preparedness of the Armed Forces and augmenting the socio-economic development of the border region, the government had said in an official statement.

Zhang urged India to stop actions that “complicate the border issue” and to earnestly maintain peace and stability in the border area.” Striking a cautionary note, he said that the Chinese military remained highly alert in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to the report.