‘We stand by India’: Arunachalis hit streets to protest China claims

“Arunachal Pradesh is not part of China,” reads a placard hanging around the neck of a woman demonstrator who also carried an Indian national flag.

| Updated: 12 April, 2023 11:17 am IST
People of Arunachal Pradesh have taken out demonstrations condemning China's move to rename 11 places in the state.

New Delhi: Locals in Arunachal Pradesh have come out in large numbers in several cities and towns to oppose China’s recent stunt of renaming 11 places in Mandarin and to show solidarity with New Delhi.

On Wednesday morning, video clips emerged on social media showing Arunachalis taking out a large rally to condemn President Xi Jinping’s regime. Demonstrators, including monks, women, and children, made their wishes clear: “We stand by India”.

Participants carried banners and placards condemning Chinese attempts to lay its claim on Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing calls ‘Zangnan’.

“Don’t we know… How China is oppressing the people of Tibet and is always engaged in looting it?” reads a banner carried by the demonstration. It further says, “At any cost, we would not like the condition of Arunachal Pradesh to become like that of Tibet.”

“Arunachal Pradesh is not part of China,” reads a placard hanging around the neck of a woman demonstrator who also carried an Indian national flag. Another banner reads: “What do you think? The conspiracy being hatched by China to take away Arunachal Pradesh will ever succeed? No.. Never…”

On Tuesday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) slammed China for protesting the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to the northeastern state, which has seen multiple incursions by Chinese troops over the years.

Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu, along with other political leaders and representatives, has strongly condemned China’s actions and reiterated that the state is an integral part of India. People of Arunachal have also taken to social media to vent their anger against China, using hashtags like #ArunachalRejectsChina and #WeAreIndians.

In New Delhi, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: “Arunachal Pradesh was, is, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India.”

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin earlier said, “Zangnan is China’s territory, and Indian officials’ activities in this area violate China’s sovereignty and (are) not conducive to peace and tranquility in the border regions. We firmly oppose it.”

Bagchi, while responding to China’s statement, said, “We completely reject the comments made by the Chinese official spokesperson. Indian leaders routinely travel to the state of Arunachal Pradesh as they do to any other state of India.”

On Monday, Home Minister Amit Shah gave a clear message to China from the border village of Kibithoo in Arunachal Pradesh and said no one can dare cast an evil eye on India’s territorial integrity and encroach on “even an inch of our land”. He said that the era when anyone could encroach on the borderlands of India is over.

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