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India objects to China writing directly to MPs for attending Tibet event

Source : The Statesman

India objects to China writing directly to MPs for attending Tibet event
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi took strong exception to a Chinese Embassy official recently writing to Indian MPs directly for their participation in an event on Tibet



India on Thursday took strong exception to a Chinese Embassy official recently writing to Indian MPs directly for their participation in an event on Tibet, saying the substance, tone and tenor of the letter were inappropriate. “The Chinese side should note that India is a vibrant democracy and Hon’ble MPs, as representatives of the people, undertake activities as per their views and beliefs,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing.

He said India expected China to refrain from hyping normal activities by the Indian MPs and complicating further the situation in bilateral relations.

On 22 December, Tibetan parliament-in-exile speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel met with the group of MPs from various parties. According to a press note from the Tibetan parliamentary secretariat, the meeting marked the “successful” revival of the All-Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet (APIPFT), which had been defunct for several years.

A week later, several of the participants received a letter signed by Chinese Embassy’s political counselor Zhou Yongsheng, expressing concern over their participation.

Meanwhile, regarding reports about a bridge being made by the Chinese side on the Pangong Tso Lake, the spokesperson said the government has been monitoring this activity closely. “This bridge is being constructed in areas that have been under illegal occupation by China for around 60 years now. As you are well aware India has never accepted such illegal occupation,” he added.

Separately, he said the government has been taking all necessary steps to ensure that our security interests are fully protected. “As part of these efforts, the government has also, in the last seven years, increased significantly the budget for development of border infrastructure and completed more roads and bridges than ever before. These have provided much-needed connectivity to the local population as well as logistical support to armed forces,” he added.

On China renaming some places in Arunachal Pradesh, the spokesperson hoped that instead of engaging in such antics, Beijing would work constructively with India to resolve the outstanding friction points in areas along the Western Sector of the LAC in India-China border areas.

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