China refers to Arunachal Pradesh as 'southern Tibet': Govt

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Arunachal Pradesh
New Delhi, Aug 30: China "illegally" refers to Arunachal Pradesh as south Tibet and claims around 90,000 sq km of Indian territory there, Rajya Sabha was informed today.

"China disputes the international boundary between India and China in the eastern sector and claims approximately 90,000 sq km of Indian territory in the state of Arunachal Pradesh," Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed said in a  written reply.

"China illegally refers to Arunachal Pradesh as 'southern Tibet'," he said. The minister said China has been told that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India.

India and China are expected to discuss revival of their 'hand-in-hand' exercise and more confidence building measures during the three-day visit of Chinese defence minister General Liang Guanglie starting Sept 2 in Mumbai.

During the first visit by a Chinese defence minister in last seven years, the two sides will discuss ways of strengthening their defence ties, ministry officials said.

The two sides will also discuss holding of the exercise 'Hand-in-Hand' in China next year, they said. Guanglie will hold discussions with defence minister AK Antony on the last day of his visit.

The bilateral exercises had started in 2007 but were put on hold after a series of hiccups in the defence ties between the two sides.

The first exercise was held in Kunming in 2007 in China whereas the second was held in India at Belgaum in 2008.

After the denial of visa to the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen BS Jaswal by the Chinese in 2010, India froze all bilateral defence exchanges with Beijing.

Though the defence exchanges have started now, there are still some problems as China declined to issue visa to an IAF officer belonging to Arunachal Pradesh.

PTI

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