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Updated: February 27, 2012 23:10 IST

"It's my duty and right to visit Arunachal"

Special Correspondent
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Defence Minister A.K. Antony said on Monday that China's remarks against his visit to Arunachal Pradesh were “really objectionable”. File photo
PTI
Defence Minister A.K. Antony said on Monday that China's remarks against his visit to Arunachal Pradesh were “really objectionable”. File photo

Defence Minister A. K. Antony on Monday expressed surprise at China's objection to his recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

“I was surprised to see such a reaction. I feel it is most unfortunate and, at the same time, it is really objectionable,'' the Minister said after inaugurating the Annual National Maritime Foundation conference here.

He underscored the fact that like Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh was an integral part of India and as Defence Minister it was both his right and duty to visit the State and all other border States.

Mr. Antony said that apart from his February 20 visit to Arunachal on its 25th year celebrations, he had been visiting the State since 1984.

His reaction comes after China said that India should refrain from taking any action that could “complicate'' the border issue. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei had “asked India to work with China to maintain peace and stability in border areas,” state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

“Constant turbulence”

In his inaugural address at the conference, the Minister voiced concern at the military presence of world's major powers in the Indian Ocean Region despite the waters being far from their shores.

“Unlike the Atlantic and Pacific, few major powers are geographically contiguous to its waters and yet they have maintained a certain military presence and an abiding politico-diplomatic interest in these waters,'' he said.

The net outcome was “constant turbulence of intense diplomatic activity and substantial military investments by the major powers.”

The Minister re-emphasised global efforts to uproot the threat of piracy and said New Delhi had submitted certain proposals to the United Nations.

“If ever there was a need for consensual and cooperative effort, it is in relation to piracy and India has put forward certain proposals at the United Nations.”

Anti-piracy efforts

Talking of the role of Navy in tackling this scourge, he noted that ever since its warships joined the anti-piracy effort in the Indian Ocean Region during the last quarter of 2008, there had been a steady increase in the number of merchant ships the Indian Naval warships escorted. Eighty-five per cent of the ships the Navy escorted bore foreign flag, he said. However, piracy cases were continuing at an alarming rate.

“Clearly, the challenge of piracy is yet to be effectively quarantined. There is a consensus that while the pirates can be neutralised at sea, the real solution lies in addressing the root causes, which are complex and are actually located on land” suggesting that while “pirates are only the front, powerful people were behind them.”

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anurag tiwari says that "the boundary was drawn by britishers and that china should not have any objection...". If this line of reasoning is to hold true, then the British would have the right to hold on to India, even today. However, with decolonization taking place in the 20th century, the British returned their ill-gotten booty (territories and wealth) back to the people from whom they had stolen them. Going by anurag tiwari's argument, does he mean India has a claim to all of these British booties, being the natural successor to the British colonialists of the 19th and 20th Centuries? If this is indeed his logic, then it would take muscles of Victorian proportions for such ambitions to be realized.

from:  jinsheng
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 12:47 IST

arunachal pradesh has al;ways been an indian territory.china should understand this, the boundary was drawn by britishers and the china should not have any objection.our ministers can visit any territory of our country.china and india should share thier cultures together and spread harmony.

from:  anurag tiwari
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 08:49 IST

A.K. Antony, Hon'ble Defense Minister has made a right observation
by declaring Arunachal Pradesh to be an integral part of India. China
has mischievously objected in the past to Indian Prime Minister and
Dalai Lama visiting this area. Interestingly, Arunachal Pradesh is the
North-East state where Hindi is the lingua-franca.
The McMahon Line boundary dispute is at the heart of relations between
China and India. China has land and sea boundary issues with 14
neighbors, mostly for historical reasons. The Chinese have two major
claims on what India deems its own territory. One claim, in the
western sector, is on Aksai Chin in the northeastern section of Ladakh
District in Jammu and Kashmir. The other claim is in the eastern
sector over a region included in the British-designated North-East
Frontier Agency, the disputed part of which India renamed Arunachal
Pradesh and made a state.
Chinese machanisations have to be strongly replied.

from:  Suraj Yadav
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 20:56 IST

Lately, China has been behaving more aggresively with India on boarder issues, because they know from where the real challenge may come in the future, if any. They are cognisant of India's internal difficulty or handicap, arising from country's democratic set up. Cunningly, China is trying to play this to their advantage. Of course, India does not want a confrontation with China. At the same time, India will not maintain silence if the party on the other side unnecessarily create nonsensical issues out of nothing. It is "right on" that the defence minister broke his silence.

from:  Sashi Mozumder
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 20:44 IST

The unwritten policy of Chinese establishment, if examined closely, will testify the fact, that from the last century onwards to till date, are of a mixture of distrust and animosity and total insensitivity to our feelings, whether it is concerning on J&K visa issues, Tibetan issues or covert support to the North East militants etc etc. Unless we ourselves establish in an economically sound platform coupled with necessary military might, these policy actions on the part of the Chinese establishment are not going to change and will continue the same as it is , Pakistan and other neighboring countries will be utilized by them for such the covert operations, the sad part is that we are yet to get grip with these realities and still remains in deep slumber, any number of rounds of border talks are not going to erase or soften these realities, instead, a cool and proper understanding of these core issues are the need of the hour.

from:  R K Chand
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 20:21 IST

It only angers when we hear such a comment from the neighbouring
country.This is actually a warning call and we should strengthen our
border security even more. How come we Indians do not claim any border
or any other country but every one of our neighbours want a part of
ours!

from:  Anu
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 20:12 IST

Unfortunately for Indians the leadership since independence is dragging India in every field.The end result 1.2 billion inhabitants,
scams that rocked the world;corruption;no law and order situation;
ministers watching X-rated movies while on duty;and raping women
is a day tody life.First clean and put your own house inorder;then think about big things.

from:  TPaul
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 19:38 IST

Arunachal is indivisible part of India, Chinese concerns often reflect
the imperialistic policies of china. The biggest bluff about Indo-china
competition for the supremacy in sub continent, will lead towards the
unwanted affairs and consequences of them. India should be ready to give
a appropriate reply to china in all aspects. Our main competitor is
china in Asia not any other country because china will compete as well
as will play the game of leg pulling.

from:  Prashant tripathi
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 19:14 IST

China remains India's greatest threat and the country must take all steps to prevent a repeat of 1962. India cannot afford to trust China.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 17:31 IST

What a stupid idea of 'no border between China and India' like Nehru's Panchsheel and Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai. This unpragmatic and unrealistic vision resulted in massacre of Tibet and humilation of India by China 1962. The biggest mistake and stupidity of Nehru supported by comrades. If there is no border, then Chinese border will be as they want. India can take the rest. Country has to be strong and decisive. Unfortunately, the current leadership is busy in vote bank and looting the country.

from:  Babu
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 16:58 IST

Agreed there is no mutually negotiated border between India and China from time immemorial. Agreed the McMohan Line was unilaterally drawn by Britain. Then how can China unilaterally and forcibly annex Aksai Chin? How can it unilaterally lay claim over Arunachal Pradesh? How can it issue visa to J&K residents on separate paper instead of stamping it on their Indian Passport? India is one of the very few countries in the world which has not invaded a foreign land since its birth. It is not just enough to be morally upright to preserve our freedom. The other part is eternal vigilance.

from:  Syed
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 16:33 IST

@Ashu: Irrespective of what the historical background of India/China
is, both the countries embraced modern political concepts which have a
Eurocentric origin. China never had the concept of sending ambassadors
to other countries. But today it has diplomatic presence everywhere.
We in India, never had Legislature, Independent Judiciary, Executive,
a Federal Polity and written constitution never in our traditions, but
we adopted them. And in this contemporary world of politics, border
issues are important and inevitable.

China has settled its border disputes amicably with other nations. The
problem with India is complicated due to its demarcation issues which
you rightly pointed out. But the problem is that as time changes the
causal factors change. And today its not just about border but a
multitude of geopolitical factors determine the Chinese attitude over
the Arunachal Border.

from:  Pravimal Abhishek
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 16:12 IST

This is just a glimpse of aggressive foreign policy pursued by China. They believe that one day India will really start thinking that they are right and Arunachal is not really a part of India. It worked with their own people!!!

from:  Sandy
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 15:46 IST

The writer Ashu is right,when we talk about culture and tradition.But when Antony is speaking about politics,of course there is no border,there should be necessarily frontiers between China and India to demarcate our limits of thoughts and action! He ought to have used ~ridiculous,rather `most unfortunate` and `really objectionable`.
He should behave as a defence minister of India,not minister of India without defence. It is most unfortunate that the minister is without defence!

from:  KB.Sundram
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 15:28 IST

This shows the China's assertiveness in International Politics.It has been overstated by India that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India but China tends to overlook the fact & India's claim.It's high time that our diplomacy should act tactically to pursue what is a their legible rights? India as a mature democracy has refrain from what happens inside the Chinese politcs.Many violent & ruthless repression pursued by China often goes unnoticed due to the rising might of China. China has no right to raise it's stake in the sovereign & integral part of India.China often gets to raise its stake in Arunachal Pradesh due to cultural gap that exists between Arunachal & rest of India. India should set up more cultural centres & providing more development in the region instead so that any 'foreign' power would dissuade in raising any stakes in the region.Antony's visit would be one such step in achieving our fate.

from:  devesh kumaraswamy
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 13:38 IST

India must make China clear that Arunachal is not a Chinese item.. So better to keep its evil eye far away......

from:  Anant Sharma
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 13:11 IST

This border was drawn by the Britishers, who were ignorant of Indian and Chinese culture, and pursued their own imperialist interests. There was no border there before, and the Chinese and Indians lived together in peace and harmony, sharing the land. The very concept of borders is a modern western imperialist intrusion that is against Bharatiya and China samskruti. The two countries should just forget about the border and live in peace and harmony as before.

from:  Ashu
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 12:52 IST
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