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China's Claim On Arunachal Does Not Arise : Pranab

PTI 30 Sep 2009, 3:54:54 AM IST

Rejecting China's claim on Arunachal Pradesh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday  asserted that there was no question of India surrendering its sovereign rights over the state. 

"We have made it clear that there is no question of surrendering our soveriegn rights over Arunachal. The question does not arise. There were 11 rounds of discussions (on the boundary question) in the last six to seven years. We consistently said that we cannot accept China's claim on Arunachal," Mukherjee told a press conference.  

"India has recognised Tibet as an autonomous region of Peoples Republic of China with which trade through traditional routes stopped after the 1962 war. Please write the name of the region carefully as Tibet Autonomous Region of Peoples Republic of China, as it has wide international connotations," Mukherjee said. 

"Elections are taking place regularly in Arunachal which is sending two representatives to Lok Sabha," he noted. India has consistently maintained that Arunachal is an integral part of the country. 

He was replying to a question by a local journalist that when his forefathers traded with Tibet for centuries why was it stopped and how China could lay claim over Arunachal'

Mukherjee said that trade through traditional routes across the border, which stopped since the 1962 war, restarted after many years at Likule and Sibkila when the issue was raised by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during his visit to China in 1988. 

Subsequently, during the visit of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Beijing in 2003, the two sides had decided to reopen the traditional trade through Nathula in Sikkim.