China on Saturday asked India to exercise “restraint” on its plan to link the strategic border district of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh with a railway network, saying any “unilateral action” might “complicate” the unresolved border issue.
“We hope that the Indian side can exercise caution, show restraint and refrain from unilateral actions that might further complicate the question so as to create a sound condition for enhancing mutual trust between China and India and promoting proper resolution of the boundary question,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
“China’s position on the eastern section of China — India boundary is consistent and clear. At present, the two sides are working to resolve the territorial dispute through negotiation and consultation,” the Ministry said in a written reply to a query about reports that India was exploring possibilities to link Tawang with a railway network.
The Centre has asked Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, who represents the Arunachal West Lok Sabha constituency, to explore the feasibility of a rail network.
China has in recent days upped its rhetoric on claims to Arunachal Pradesh, which it says is Southern Tibet, and even warned India of “serious damage” to ties if New Delhi allows Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to visit the state next week.
The ministry yesterday warned New Delhi that the visit of the Dalai Lama, the highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, will “come down to India to make a choice”.
Tawang, which happens to be the birthplace in 1683 of the sixth Dalai Lama, is at the centre of Tibetan Buddhism and a friction point between India and China relations.
India and China are in discussion to resolve their border dispute that covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). While Beijing claims Arunachal as part of Southern Tibet, India asserts that the dispute also covers the ‘Aksai Chin’ area, which was occupied by China during the 1962 war.
By: The Hindu
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