China slams Indian defense minister’s visit to disputed area

Global Times
Zhang Tao

China said a senior Indian official's visit to the disputed area in the eastern part of the China-India border will further complicate the border issue with China, while an expert said the visit is not conducive to repairing Sino-Indian ties damaged by the Doklam standoff.

"We believe that the Indian official's visit to the disputed area will further complicate the border issue, and will not be conducive to maintaining peace and tranquility in the relevant region," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a press conference on Monday.

India's Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the South Tibet area (which India calls Arunachal Pradesh) to inspect defense preparedness, Indian news agency PTI reported on Monday.

"China has a clear stance on the China-India border and there are some disputes on the eastern section of the China-India border," Hua said.

She added that China hopes India will work with China to create better atmosphere for negotiations, to seek a solution acceptable to both sides and to safeguard the bilateral ties.

"By allowing high-level officials to visit the disputed area, India is provoking China in order to win support for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2019 elections," Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of International Relations, told the Global Times on Monday.

India normally creates trouble for China when bilateral ties deteriorate, which shows the immaturity of Indian officials, Hu said.

He added that India is also envious over US President Donald Trump's forthcoming visit to China, so it tries to hype the "border issue" in order to do some "petty action." "But China will remain restrained," he said.

One June 18, Indian troops illegally crossed the border and trespassed into Chinese territory in Doklam.


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