China says it has never recognised Arunachal Pradesh as part of India

India's military has sent a message to its Chinese counterparts over reports that five Indian civilians were kidnapped in a border state last week.

India hotline message

India cabinet minister said a “hotline message” had been sent to the Chinese army after five men were kidnapped near the border area last week. An allegation that five men were kidnapped by Chinese troops was first tweeted on 5 September by an Indian lawmaker from Arunachal Pradesh state.

Amid ongoing border tensions, China has once again provoked India and this time Beijing has said that it has never recognised Arunachal Pradesh claiming it to be a ‘part of China’s south Tibet region’.

State-run Global Times quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian as saying that, “China has never recognized so-called Arunachal Pradesh, which is China’s south Tibet region”.

India sends ‘Hotline’ message to China

India also refuses to give details on five civilians who were allegedly abducted by the Chinese army from India’s Arunachal Pradesh. “We have no details to release yet about the question on Indian army sending a message to PLA about five missing Indians in the region,” he said.

Read more: India-China tension must not rise at US’s instructions: ex-envoy

The development comes a day after the Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said that the Indian Army has sent a hotline message to Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) establishment at the border point in Arunachal Pradesh in connection with the five missing Indians.

“The Indian Army has already sent hotline message to the counterpart PLA establishment at the border point in Arunachal Pradesh. Response is awaited (sic),” Rijiju had tweeted on Sunday.

Read more: Geo-political implications of the China-India standoff at Ladakh

As per the to the local media reports, the abducted persons – Toch Singkam, Prasat Ringling, Dongtu Ebiya, Tanu Baker and Ngaru Diri – all of the Tagin community, had gone to the forest for hunting, a traditional practice of the tribals in the area. The incident was reported by two other villagers, who had managed to flee the spot.

Ladakh standoff continues

Indian and Chinese armies have been locked in a bitter standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh since mid-May. Both countries have since stepped up monitoring of their largely unsettled 3,488 km (2,167 miles) border.

Read more: Can India & China reach a political solution?

The two armies held another round of talks in eastern Ladakh yesterday in a bid to calm tensions even as the situation remained ‘delicate.’ The commander-level interaction near Chushul lasted nearly four hours but still could not produce any tangible outcome, government sources said.

There are several reasons why tensions have risen recently – but competing strategic goals lie at the root, and both sides blame each other. India’s new road in what experts say is the most remote and vulnerable area along the border in Ladakh could boost Delhi’s capability to move men and materiel rapidly in case of a conflict. Analysts say India’s decision to ramp up infrastructure seems to have infuriated Beijing.

GVS News Desk

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