New Delhi: India on Saturday dismissed China's opposition to the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Arunachal Pradesh, saying the state was an integral and inalienable part of India.
"The state of Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. Indian leaders visit Arunachal Pradesh from time to time, as they visit other parts of India," the External Affairs Ministry said.
"This consistent position has been conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions."
As Prime Minister Modi on Saturday inaugurated several developmental projects during his one-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh, China, which slams visits by Indian leaders and foreign dignitaries to the state which it terms "South Tibet" and claims it as its own, said such actions would "escalate" and "complicate" the border dispute.
"China's position on the Sino-Indian border issue is consistent and clear. The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called Arunachal Pradesh and resolutely opposes the activities of Indian leaders to the eastern section of the Sino-Indian border," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in Beijing.
China said such actions would also hurt the progress made by both sides, especially after the pathbreaking meet between Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan last year.
In 2017, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh infuriated China, prompting it to rename some towns in the Indian state.