• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

China

China objects to India’s development plans in Arunachal

This statement from China’s foreign ministry was a response to a report about New Delhi’s plans to expedite hydropower projects in the border state.

Representational Image: iStock

By: Vivek Mishra

AFTER a report that India plans to spend £781 million to expedite the construction of 12 hydropower stations in the northeastern Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh, China has asserted that India has no right to carry out development in the area China calls South Tibet.

This statement from China’s foreign ministry was a response to a Reuters report about New Delhi’s plans to expedite hydropower projects in the border state.

“South Tibet is China’s territory,” stated a foreign ministry spokesman. China claims that the establishment of what India calls Arunachal Pradesh on Chinese territory is “illegal and invalid.”

Reuters reported that India plans to spend £781 million to accelerate the construction of 12 hydropower stations in the northeastern Himalayan state. India’s foreign ministry has not yet responded to China’s statement. India maintains that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country, while China asserts it is part of southern Tibet and has objected to Indian infrastructure projects there.

Last week, Indian foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Kazakhstan, where both agreed to intensify efforts to resolve border issues.

India’s federal finance ministry recently approved up to £70 million in financial assistance for each hydropower project in the northeastern region. This scheme, involving about £841 million for 12 hydropower projects in Arunachal Pradesh, aims to support northeastern states and expedite project approvals and regulatory clearances.

The hydropower project plans are expected to be announced in the 2024/2025 federal budget, to be unveiled on 23 July. The Indian finance and power ministries and China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to Reuters‘ requests for comment.

India and China share a 2,500 km largely un-demarcated border, over which they fought a war in 1962. Tensions have been high, with both countries working to improve infrastructure along their border regions since clashes in the western Himalayas in 2020 left 20 Indian and at least four Chinese troops dead.

India is pushing projects in the eastern region amid reports that Beijing could construct dams on a section of the Brahmaputra river, known as the Yarlung Tsangbo in China, that flows from Tibet through Arunachal Pradesh. India is concerned that Chinese projects could trigger flash floods or create water scarcity.

Both countries continue to work on improving border infrastructure, with recent diplomatic efforts to resolve disputes being made by their foreign ministers in Kazakhstan.

(Reuters)

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