A day after China reacted sharply to Defence Minister A.K. Antony's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, India said it took this matter “seriously,” asserting Beijing had “no right” to interfere in its domestic affairs.

Defending Mr. Antony's visit to the northeast State last week, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said on Sunday: “India will not tolerate external interference of China in the Indian territorial affairs.”

‘Part and parcel of India'

Mr. Krishna also reminded China that Arunachal Pradesh was a “part and parcel” of India.

“All seven States in northeastern parts of India are part and parcel of India, and China has no rights to make adverse remarks on Antony's visit to Arunachal Pradesh,” he told reporters.

Remark taken seriously

India has taken the Chinese remarks “seriously” and will take up the issue with Beijing on an appropriate forum, he added.

Mr. Krishna also said it was not Mr. Antony's first visit to the northeastern State.

Reacting sharply to Mr. Antony's visit for its Statehood celebrations, China on Saturday said India should refrain from taking any action that could “complicate” the border issue.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei asked “India to work with China to maintain peace and stability in border areas,” the state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday night. China routinely takes exception to any high-level visit of Indian officials to Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims is a part of southern Tibet.

Border talks

Arunachal Pradesh has been a part of the past 15 rounds of border talks by the Special Representatives of the two countries. China also denies visa to people of Arunachal Pradesh.

In a recent case, visa was denied to a senior IAF officer to visit China as part of a defence delegation, prompting New Delhi to scale down the size of the delegation.

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