Beijing, Jan 19: China has reacted sharply to Japanese Foreign Minister's remarks about Arunachal Pradesh being part of India, saying it is "seriously concerned" and has lodged a protest with Japan demanding a clarification.
"China has taken note of such report," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing here while replying to a question on Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida's comments in New Delhi last week.
"We are seriously concerned about this and have lodged solemn representation (diplomatic protest) with the Japanese side, asking Japan to make (a) clarification and immediately remove negative implications arising from this," Hong said.
Replying to a question during an interaction in New Delhi on January 17 about Japan's indication that it may not be involved in infrastructure projects in Arunachal Pradesh and whether this was due to China's position, Kishida had said though his government wants to improve connectivity in northeast India, there was no plan to provide any aid to the state.
"You specifically pointed out the state Arunachal Pradesh in North Eastern India which is a territory of India which is pending in terms of its dispute with China and for the moment to my understanding there are currently no plans of Japan to provide aid to this state," he had said.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of Southern Tibet.
Hong said Kishida's remarks are contrary to previous stand taken by Japan on this issue in the past.
"Japan has said explicitly to China that it holds no position and it will not intervene in the disputed area between China and India. Japan has also made public clarifications on this," he said apparently referring to Japan's stand expressed in November last year that it would not involve itself in infrastructure projects in Arunachal Pradesh.
China said in November last year that Japan had clarified when it sought Tokyo's reaction to reports that India's Border Roads Organisation had given ‘strategic' projects to the Japan International Cooperation Agency along the China border.
Hong today said, "China's position on the eastern part of China-India boundary is clear and consistent."
The issue is being addressed through talks between Special Representatives from both sides, he said.
"China and India are seeking the solution to resolve the boundary question that is fair, reasonable and acceptable to both sides. We hope the Japanese side can understand the sensitiveness of China-India border question and respect China and India's efforts to resolve dispute through negotiations and be prudent in its words and actions," Hong said.