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Business News/ News / World/  US ambassador Kenneth Juster’s visit to Tawang can rile China
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US ambassador Kenneth Juster’s visit to Tawang can rile China

Kenneth Juster, US ambassador to India, is on a visit to Tawang in Arunchal Pradesh for the Tawang Festival
  • A similar visit in 2016 by then US ambassador to India Richard Verma had triggered a verbal spat between India and China
  • US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster. (PTI)Premium
    US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster. (PTI)

    NEW DELHI : In a move that could rile China, the US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster, is on a visit to Tawang in Arunchal Pradesh, all of which is claimed by Beijing thanks to an unresolved border dispute between India and China.

    “It is great to be in Tawang as the Chief Guest for the Tawang Festival. #USIndiaDosti," said a Twitter post by Juster on Monday referring to the three day festival regarded the biggest event in the cultural calendar of Arunachal Pradesh that draws hundreds of tourists every year.

    Earlier the Pema Khandu, chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh in a Twitter post said: “Welcome to Ambassador Mr. Kenneth I. Juster and Consul General Patti Hoffman for Tawang Festival."

    A similar visit by then US ambassador to India Richard Verma in 2016 had triggered a verbal spat between India and China with Beijing stating that it was firmly opposed to Verma’s visit. India had then brushed aside China’s objections calling it a “routine visit."

    China claims more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) of territory that India says is a part of its territory i.e. Arunachal Pradesh. According to China, Arunachal Pradesh is part of what it calls South Tibet. Disagreement between India and China over parts of their 3,500-km (2,175-mile) border led to a brief war in 1962. Since then, the two countries have moved to manage the dispute, but many rounds of talks have not yielded much progress.

    India allowing Verma to visit Arunachal Pradesh in 2016 came against the backdrop of Beijing blocking New Delhi’s moves in the UN Security Council to get Pakistan-based Maulana Masood Azhar listed a terrorist under UN norms.

    Ties between the two neighbours are currently seen as less prickly with two informal summits between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping taking place in 2018 and 2019 aiming to stabilise relations.

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    Published: 28 Oct 2019, 07:48 PM IST
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