China on Monday objected to President Ram Nath Kovind’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying India should refrain from complicating the border dispute when bilateral relations “are at a crucial moment”, PTI reported.

Kovind had visited the North Eastern state on Sunday.

“The Chinese government never acknowledged the so-called Arunachal Pradesh, and our position on the border issue is consistent and clear,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang told journalists on Monday.

India and China are in the process of “settling the issue through consultation and negotiation” and are trying to reach a solution that is acceptable to all, Lu said, adding that Beijing hopes India works “to create favourable conditions for border negotiations” for “sound and stable development of bilateral ties”.

New Delhi, however, dismissed Beijing’s objections and said Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country and Indian leaders are free to visit the state.