China, India ramp up rhetoric in border row

Beijing and New Delhi doubled down on their rhetoric over border tensions on Wednesday. China and India held the 13th round of talks in an effort to settle the conflict, but failed to come to a compromise.

Earlier in the day, Beijing announced that it firmly opposes Indian vice president’s visit to to a disputed area on the China-India border, urging New Delhi to refrain from moves that complicate boundary issues and bring China-India relations back on the right track and steady development.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks when asked about Indian Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu’s visit to the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh”, CGTN reported.

China has never recognized the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh”, the spokesperson noted.

Zhao also called on the Indian side to truly respect China’s major concerns and take concrete actions to maintain peace and stability in the China-India border region.

Later, the Indian foreign ministry announced New Delhi rejects China’s criticism of the Indian vice president’s visit to the disputed Arunachal Pradesh area, and sees the region as an integral part of India.

“We have noted the comments made today by the Chinese official spokesperson. We reject such comments. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. Indian leaders routinely travel to the state of Arunachal Pradesh as they do to any other state of India. Objecting to the visit of Indian leaders to a state of India does not stand to reason and understanding of Indian people,” the spokesperson for the Indian foreign ministry, Arindam Bagchi, said.

Bagchi added that the deteriorated situation on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was caused exclusively by China’s attempts to unilaterally change the status quo in the area.

“Therefore, we expect the Chinese side to work towards early resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols rather than trying to link unrelated issues,” Bagchi concluded.

Since May 2020, the region near the Chinese-Indian border has witnessed numerous standoffs. The two neighboring countries have stepped up their military presence in the area.

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