Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that Arunachal Pradesh was an Indian territory and India was not bothered about what any other country thought, PTI reported. China had on November 6 objected to her recent visit to the state, saying it was “not conducive to the peace and tranquility of the region”.
“What is the problem? There is no problem. It is our territory, we will go there,” Sitharaman said while on an election campaign in Gujarat. “We are not concerned with someone else’s opinion on this.”
On China’s annoyance with India giving shelter to the Dalai Lama, she said, “A relationship cannot be made or broken over one issue. Every subject has its own weight.”
A day before China’s objection last week, Sitharaman had visited forward Army posts in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh to take stock of the defence preparedness. This was her first visit to the state as the defence minister.
Spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, Hua Chunying, had responded, “We hope the Indian side will work with the Chinese side to continue to make contribution to properly resolve the boundary issue through dialogue and create an enabling atmosphere and condition for this.”
China claims the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of its territory and calls it South Tibet. It had renamed six places in the state in April after Beijing lodged protests with India over the Dalai Lama’s visit to the North Eastern state. “You must be very clear about China’s position,” said Hua. “There is a dispute in the eastern section of the China-India boundary.”