‘Exercise restraint’, miffed China warns India over building bridge in Arunachal
Beijing, May 30: China is definitely unhappy over India's longest river bridge--Bhupen Hazarika Setu (also known as Dhola-Sadiya bridge)--inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently.
The bridge over river Brahmaputra connects Assam to Arunachal Pradesh, the border state claimed by Beijing. On Monday, China asked India to be "cautious" and exercise "restraint" over building infrastructure in Arunachal Pradesh.
"We hope India adopts a cautious and restrained attitude on the issue before the final settlement of the border issue with China to jointly control disputes, safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas," the Chinese Foreign Ministry told IANS.
"China's position on the eastern section of the Sino-Indian border areas is consistent and clear," a statement in Chinese said.
Last week, amid much-fanfare PM Modi gifted the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh India's longest bridge over the river Brahmaputra. The 9.2 km Dhola-Sadiya bridge will cut the distance and travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh by 165 km and five hours.
"China and India should resolve territorial disputes through negotiations and consultations between the two countries," the Foreign Ministry said.
Arunachal Pradesh is claimed and called by China as South Tibet. For decades, China and India are fighting over Arunachal Pradesh border dispute. Moreover, China and India fought a brief war in 1962 when the Chinese entered Arunachal Pradesh and unilaterally declared a ceasefire after withdrawing to the McMahon Line.
According to experts, the bridge will ensure swift movement of Indian troops in Arunachal Pradesh, which, therefore, will bolster India's defence along the China border.
After the 1962 war, Indian and Chinese soldiers have had several skirmishes. Although, China has opposed India's latest initiative, Chinese government has long been building infrastructure along the border.