Amid reports in a section of the media that China is building a dam across the Brahmaputra, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Wednesday said the issue was raised with Beijing several times, and each time it denied that it was engaged in any such activity.

“What I want to say is that this matter has been taken up not just once but on a number of occasions with China, and it has consistently denied that it is engaged in any such activity,” she said.

Ms. Rao’s comments come less than a week after Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said in Bangalore that experts engaged by the government did not come up with any evidence of a dam being built by China in the area suggested by media reports.

The issue was also raised at a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Thailand last month.

Ms. Rao said the ties between India and China were complex. The dialogue with Beijing, she hoped, would acquire more content and relevance in the coming years. Adequate mechanisms were in place to resolve all outstanding issues, including the boundary dispute.

On the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, she denied any “strain” between the two countries on the issue.

Sources in the External Affairs Ministry said India would not countenance any boundary-related observations by him. This was in addition to India’s understanding of the Dalai Lama not indulging in any political or anti-China activity.

The sources said: “India’s position has been repeated several times. As a spiritual leader, he is free to go anywhere in India for religious purposes. He is an honoured guest of the country.”

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