New Delhi: India has reacted sharply to China Foreign Ministry’s statement on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh. Reports said that China’s Foreign Ministry had condemned PM Modi’s visit to Arunachal and claimed that it “resolutely” opposed activities of Indian leaders in the region. (Also read: India, China Ties to Remain Tense, Says US Spymaster)

In response, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said, “The state of Arunachal Pradesh is an integral & inalienable part of India. Indian leaders visit Arunachal Pradesh from time to time, as they visit other parts of India. This consistent position has been conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions.”

PM Modi’s visit was a part of a series of his public meetings as he goes campaigning for the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections due in May.

“China urges the Indian side to proceed from the overall situation of bilateral relations, respect China’s interests and concerns, cherish the momentum of improving relations between the two countries, and refrain from any actions that intensify disputes and complicate the border issue,” a statement by China’s foreign ministry reportedly said.

China’s reaction assumes significance in the light of how both the countries have been working on rebuilding their ties ever since the Doklam standoff of 2017.

PM Modi and China President Xi Jinping have also met a number of times last year to give impetus to the trade discussions. But progress, according to Indian government officials and representatives of various Indian trade bodies, has been slow, said reports.

Last year, PM Modi had met with Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit and stated that 2018 was of utmost importance for the bilateral relations of the two countries.

Terming the Wuhan informal summit as the “milestone” for the two nations, the PM said these meetings had given a new momentum to the growing relations between China and India.