Puerile to think China will not claim Arunachal, says Salman Khurshid

| Updated: Oct 25, 2016 14:41 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct. 25 (ANI): Expressing concern over China's objection to U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma visiting Arunachal Pradesh, former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said it would be unwise to think that Beijing won't claim Arunachal as its territory, despite the Indian gvernment's efforts to contain differences on the same. He said the government needs to be pragmatic and proceed forward in the best way possible. "There is a serious concern on how China approaches Arunachal. It's kind of puerile for us to continue saying Arunachal is an internal part of India and nobody can question it. It is true there is no question about it, but there have been differences with China on this, and it has always been our effort to contain these differences, and, I think, we have successfully done that. If today they are surfacing once again, I think the Government of India needs to take a practical, pragmatic and honest view and proceed to follow in the best way possible, Khurshid told ANI. On Friday, Ambassador Verma posted photos of his visit to Arunachal Pradesh on his Twitter account, thanking Indian officials for their warm hospitality and calling the region a "magical place." Following the Tweet, China reprimanded United States for sending its ambassador to Arunachal Pradesh and warned that meddling by a third country would further complicate the territorial dispute between India and China. China claims more than 90,000 square kilometers of territory disputed by India in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. Much of that forms the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls South Tibet. India, on its part, has claimed that China occupies 38,000 square kilometers of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west, and is also suspicious of China's support for Pakistan. (ANI)