Vol. 4 Num 61 Sat. July 26, 2003  
Front Page

Arunachal not part of India, says Beijing
Both sides allege border intrusion

Saying that it has not recognised Arunachal Pradesh as part of India, China yesterday alleged that "Indian people" crossed the eastern sector of Line of Actual Control in the north-eastern state and not its forces as claimed by New Delhi.

Denying a report published in The Hindustan Times that Chinese forces had transgressed into Indian territory near the LAC when Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was visiting Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said China does not recognise that Arunachal Pradesh is part of India.

"We have noted the relevant report. China does not recognise the so-called Arunachal Pradesh mentioned by the Indian newspaper report," Kong said.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman on Thursday said that the Indian Government was aware of the transgression of the LAC by a Chinese patrol on June 26, 2003 in Asaphila area of the upper Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh. This is an area where there are differences in perception of the LAC between the two sides.

Kong said "as far as the incident mentioned, after investigations, we have found that the Indian side crossed the eastern sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). At the request of the Chinese side, the Indian people who crossed the LAC, returned to the Indian side of the LAC."

China lays claim to 90,000 sq kms of land in Arunachal Pradesh and does not recognise the north-eastern state as part of Indian territory.

India accuses China of occupying approximately 38,000 square kilometres of territory in Kashmir. In addition, under the so-called Sino-Pakistan 'boundary agreement' of 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq. km of Indian territory in Pakistan occupied Kashmir to China.

Officials from the two sides have met 15 times since late 1980s in an effort to find a peaceful solution to the border dispute.

However, the little progress has been achieved with both sides only managing to exchange sample maps of the middle sector, the least contentious among the eastern, middle and western sectors.

Taking into account the lack of progress, during Vajpayee's visit to China, both governments appointed a special representative to explore from the political perspective of the overall bilateral relationship, the framework of a boundary settlement.

While India appointed National Security Advisor, Brajesh Mishra as its special representative, China named Executive Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo as its special representative.

The two sides had also agreed on the continued maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas and continued implementation of the 1993 and 1996 agreements including clarification of the LAC.

The first-ever joint statement signed by the Indian and Chinese Prime Ministers also reiterated their readiness to seek "a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution through consultations on an equal footing."