China reacts to India-Japan’s northeast Plan

“We are now trying to seek a solution through negotiations that is acceptable to both sides”.

“You must be very clear that boundary of the India-China border area has not been totally delimited and we have disputes in the eastern section of the boundary”.

Though the joint statement did not specifically refer to Arunachal Pradesh, large parts of which are claimed by Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying spoke about the disputed border in the “eastern section” when she was asked about the Act East Forum at a news briefing.

Hua also referred to the boundary dispute while replying to a question about the Indo-Japan joint statement issued after the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

“To that end, we agreed on a India Japan Act East Forum which will essentially explore the possibilities of involving Japan in northeastern infrastructure”, Jaishankar said.

The document, however, had made no specific mention of any investments in Arunachal Pradesh. They had said they were for freedom of navigation, in accordance with “universally recognised principles of global law, notably the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea” in the region, which also includes the disputed South China Sea.

The 70-day-long Doklam standoff between began with New Delhi’s opposition to Beijing’s road construction in tri-junction point between India-Bhutan-China.

She also added that contrary to media reports, she could not find any “innuendoes” in Beijing’s reference in the joint statement. “This is China’s position”, she said.

“To be frank, we are closely following the Japanese PM’s visit to India”, she said.

China and Japan have a dispute over the uninhabited islands called Senkakus by Japan and Diaoyu islands by China in the East China Sea where naval ships of both the countries aggressively patrol the waters around the islands.

Hua also brought up China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “As far as I am concerned, it is better to ask Japan and India and see whether they can make some clarifications on this”. Japan has also placed a special emphasis on cooperation in the Northeast for its geographical importance of connecting India to Southeast Asia and historical ties (Japanese forces had fought British in Manipur during World War II), according to informed officials. “We hope that the development of normal relations between Japan and India can play a constructive role for the mutual trust and cooperation between regional countries and the peace, stability and development of the region”.

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