India has always maintained that Arunachal Pradesh is an inalienable part of the country.
Home Minister Amit Shah today said no one can question "India's territorial integrity" amid China's objection to his Arunachal Pradesh visit. "Nobody can take even a pin's tip worth of our land," he said.
"Gone are those days when people could encroach into our land. Now, they cannot even take a pin's tip worth of our land," Mr Shah said while launching 'Vibrant Villages Programme' from Kibithoo in Anjaw district, the border village of Arunachal Pradesh which is about 11 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and about 40 km from the India, China and Myanmar tri-junction.
China firmly opposes a visit by Mr Shah to Arunachal Pradesh and views his activities in the area as violating Beijing's territorial sovereignty, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told a news briefing earlier in the day.
"Zangnan (Beijing refers to Arunachal as Zangnan) is China's territory," spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in response to a question on the visit by Home Minister Amit Shah.
"The Indian official's visit to Zangnan violates China's territorial sovereignty, and is not conducive to the peace and tranquility of the border situation."
Amit Shah is on a two-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh. It is his first visit to the northeastern state as Home Minister.
Pointing to the infrastructure and other development works carried out in the Northeast, the Home Minister border areas are the top priority of the BJP-led central government. "The Modi government has done far more development of the border area than what the Congress did in its 12 terms," he said.
Amit Shah's visit comes close on the heels of China "renaming" some places in Arunachal Pradesh that it claims as part of its territory.
India has always maintained that Arunachal Pradesh is an inalienable part of the country, and China giving its own inventive names will not change the ground reality.
"This is not the first time that China is making such attempts, and we have criticised such attempts. Arunachal Pradesh is an inalienable part of India. China giving its own inventive names will not change the ground reality. I would like to re-emphasise that," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said last week.
Mr Shah, talking about the Kibithoo village, said, "This is the area where the light of sunshine reaches first in the country. Earlier, people used to call this the last village of the country but now we call it the first village of India, that is the conceptual change PM Modi has brought."
In Kibithoo, in the 1962 war, six personnel of Kumoan regiment fought bravely," Mr Shah added.
The Centre has approved the 'Vibrant Villages Programme' with central components of Rs 4800 crore including Rs 2,500 crore exclusively for road connectivity for the financial years 2022-23 to 2025-26.
A total of 2,967 villages in 46 blocks of 19 districts abutting the northern border in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Ladakh have been identified for comprehensive development under the 'Vibrant Villages Programme'.
The programme will help in improving the quality of life of people living in identified border villages and encourage people to stay in their native locations thereby reversing the outmigration from these villages and adding to the security of the border.