screengrab from CCTV
DHARAMSHALA, May 16: The Chinese State run television CCTV raked up a controversy by showing India’s map without Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu Kashmir in its coverage of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China. A CCTV news bulletin showed the maps on the day Modi arrived in Xian, President Xi Jinping’s home town.
An editorial in China’s state owned English daily Global Times
had indicated that PM Modi should not travel to Arunachal just days before Modi left for China. China objected Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, a state in the northeastern India upon which China stakes claim, in February. China summoned India's ambassador to China, Ashok K Kantha, to lodge a "stern representation" over Modi's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, where Modi attended the state’s 23rd Foundation Day and also inaugurated railway and power projects earlier this year.
China’s territorial claim over Arunachal Pradesh, which China dubs as South Tibet, has remained a bone of contention between India and China since the two nations first shared a common border following China’s occupation of Tibet in 1959.
India and China have held 18 rounds of discussions so far on the border dispute between the two countries. China says the border dispute is confined only to 2,000 kms mostly in Arunachal Pradesh. However, India asserts that the dispute covered the western side of the border spanning to about 4,000 kms, especially the Aksai Chin area ceded to China by Pakistan.
The longstanding stapled visa row took an ugly turn in 2010 when India suspended defence exchanges with China after the latter refused to issue visa to a top Indian military official posted in Jammu and Kashmir citing the territory being "disputed."
Fresh incursions were reported in Ladakh even as Chinese President Xi was in India on his maiden visit last year.
The incumbent minister of state for home, Kiren Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal, was asked not to attend the banquet hosted by Prime Minister in honour of the visiting Chinese President last year.
China had expressed its opposition to the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit in 2009 to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
Indian media have repeatedly reported "incursions" by Chinese soldiers patrolling the 3,500-km (2,200-mile) border, disputed at various stretches including Arunachal.
China regularly objects to Indian leaders visiting Arunachal Pradesh. Last year, it objected to Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to the state.