India dismisses China's objection to Sitharaman's visit to Arunachal Pradesh

India on Thursday dismissed China's objection to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

"Arunachal Pradesh is integral part of India and Indian leaders have that much freedom to visit Arunachal Pradesh as they have to visit other states in the country," Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said.

He was reacting to the remark of the spokesperson of the Chinese Government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, on Monday that the visit of Defence Minister of India to Arunachal Pradesh had not been conducive for peace and tranquilty along the disputed border between the two nations.

Sitharaman on Sunday visited forward army posts in remote Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh bordering China to take stock of the defence preparedness. She also posted on Twitter pictures of her visit, including her meeting with senior officers of Indian Army.

Beijing claims that the entire Arunachal Pradesh as a part of the territory of China.

China earlier objected to the visits of Presidents and Prime Ministers of India to Arunachal Pradesh.

New Delhi, however, on Thursday confirmed that it was in touch with Beijing to schedule the next round of talks between the Special Representatives of India and China for boundary negotiations.

"We do not have any confirmed dates for talks as yet. The two sides are in touch. Once we have some dates for it, we will let you know," the MEA spokesperson said on Thursday. He was asked about the possibility of the 20th round of boundary negotiations being held soon by the two Special Representatives Prime Minister Narendra Modi's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his counterpart and Chinese State Councillor, Yang Jiechi.

The DH on Wednesday reported that India and China might have another round of boundary negotiations before March 2018, when Chinese President Xi Jinping would commence his second term at the helm of the Government. "New Delhi and Beijing are in touch to schedule the 20th round of boundary negotiations, possibly before the new officials of the Chinese Communist Party and the Government take office in Beijing in March next year," the DH reported.

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