China, on Monday, admonished the United States for sending its ambassador in India Richard Verma to Arunachal Pradesh, warning that a third party's meddling would only complicate the dispute between Beijing and New Delhi.
Rebuffing China for the objection, India said on Monday that there was “nothing unusual” about his trip to a State that was an integral part of the country.
“The U.S. Ambassador visited Arunachal Pradesh, a State which is an integral part of the country to which he is accredited. There is nothing unusual in it,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said here.
China claims more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) of territory disputed by India in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. Much of that forms the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls South Tibet.
Envoy tweets photos of visit
Mr. Verma posted photos on his Twitter account on October 21 of his recent trip to Arunachal Pradesh, thanking Indian officials for their “warm hospitality” and calling the region a “magical place.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China was “firmly opposed” to the U.S. diplomat's actions, which he said would “damage the hard-earned peace and tranquillity of the China-India border region.”
“Any responsible third party should respect efforts by China and India to seek peaceful and stable reconciliation, and not the opposite,” Mr. Lu told a regular press briefing.
Stay away from row, U.S. told
“We urge the United States to stop getting involved in the China-India territorial dispute and do more to benefit this region's peace and tranquillity,” he said, adding that China and India were handling the matter appropriately through talks.
A spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs was not immediately available for comment.
Disagreement between the nuclear-armed neighbours over parts of their 3,500-km (2,175-mile) border led to a brief war in 1962. The countries have moved to control the dispute, but repeated rounds of talks have failed to make much progress.
India wary of China’s moves
India says China occupies 38,000 square kilometres (14,600 square miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west, and is also suspicious of China’s support for its arch-rival, Pakistan.
Tensions occasionally flare over the disputed border.
In August, China was angered by India's plans to place advanced cruise missiles there.