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Indian officials’ visit to disputed border area a political trick: expert

(Global Times)    08:10, November 21, 2017

India officials’ visit to border area a trick

China expressed strong opposition to the visit by two senior Indian officials to a disputed border area with China this month, with a Chinese expert calling it "political tricks" to win votes.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind visited the "Arunachal Pradesh" (China's South Tibet) on Sunday and said the region "offers a unique opportunity to trade and do business with neighboring countries," India's Economic Times reported.

China strongly opposes the Indian leader's visit to the disputed area, foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a daily briefing on Monday, urging India to avoid moves that will complicate the border issue at a critical time for bilateral ties.

Sino-Indian relations are at an important stage, and China expects India to avoid moves that will complicate the border issue and take actions that will create a positive environment for border negotiations, Lu said.

This is the second time that a senior government official in India has sought political gain by visiting the disputed region, which runs against a peaceful settlement of border issues, said Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of International Relations.

Earlier this month, India's Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the South Tibet area to inspect defense preparedness, Indian news agency PTI reported.

China's stance on the Sino-Indian border issue is consistent and clear, and the Chinese government has never recognized the so-called "Arunachal Pradesh," Lu said at the Monday briefing.

Both China and India are negotiating a solution that is fair, reasonable and acceptable to both sides, and before the issue is resolved, the two sides should maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas, Lu added.

The politicians are seeking personal gain for next year's elections at the expense of damaging Sino-Indian ties, and the provocative move that challenges China's bottom line will worsen the already fragile relationship, Hu said.

"The Indian officials should act with restraint and avoid activities in the disputed area," Hu said, adding that such political tricks will bring new uncertainty to a resolution of the border disputes and complicate bilateral relations, he noted.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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