Ahmedabad: Rebuffing China’s objection to her visit to Arunachal Pradesh, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the northeastern state is an Indian territory and the country is not concerned about someone else’s opinion on it.
On Monday, China had objected to Sitharaman’s first visit to the border state on Saturday and Sunday, saying her tour of the “disputed area" was not conducive to peace in the region.
India had rejected Beijing’s objection and asserted that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country. “What is the problem? There is no problem. It is our territory, we will go there," she said in a reply to a query on China’s reaction on her visit to Arunachal Pradesh. “We are not concerned with someone else’s opinion on this," the minister, who is campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in poll- bound Gujarat, said in a press conference in Ahmedabad.
Sitharaman had visited forward army posts in remote Anjaw district of the state bordering China to take stock of defence preparedness. The minister had visited Nathu La area on the India-China border in Sikkim last month and greeted the People’s Liberation Army soldiers across the border. Her “friendly gesture" had earned appreciation from the Chinese media. Asked if giving shelter to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was the reason for strained relationship between India and China, she said it was not so.
“One issue can not make or break a relationship. There are many issues. Every issue has its own weight," she said.