Chinese envoy meets MEA officials as Beijing voices concern over PM's Arunachal visit

      China's Ambassador to India Zhang Yang met officials of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday afternoon shortly after his government expressed "strong" dissastisfaction over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Arunachal Pradesh during electioneering. There was no word about what Yang had discussed with the MEA officials. Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu had said: "We demand the Indian side address China's serious concerns and not trigger disturbance in the disputed region so as to facilitate the healthy development of China-India relations." "China is strongly dissatisfied with the visit to the disputed region by the Indian leader disregarding China's serious concerns," Mas added in a statement posted on the ministry's website. He noted that China and India had "never officially settled" demarcation of their border, and China's stance on the eastern section of the China-India border was "consistent and clear-cut". The Indian Government has all along indicated that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and that the people of that state have a democratic right to elect a government of their choice. Singh had toured and addressed an election rally in Arunachal Pradesh on October 3. Recently, China had blocked a part of a loan to India from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for developmental projects in Arunachal Pradesh. China also protested a visit to the state last month by exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama. India says China is illegally occupying 43,180 sq kms of Jammu and Kashmir. On the other hand, China accuses India of possessing some 90,000 sq km of Chinese territory, mostly in Arunachal Pradesh. Singh had earlier visited Arunachal Pradesh on January 31 and February 1 and had then referred to it as "Our land of the rising sun" at a public rally, which was objected to by China. China apparently saw it as India's assertion of its claim on Arunachal, which it claims is a "disputed territory".

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