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China denies South China Sea-style takeover plan for ‘South Tibet’

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Courtesy: SCMP

(TibetanReview.net, May23, 2018) – Following a South China Morning Post report May 20 that China had developed a booming mining town in Lhuntse County of Tibet as a preparation for capturing the nearby Indian border state of Arunachal Pradesh claimed by it as South Tibet, like in the case of the South China Sea, Beijing has rejected the reasoning but justified the ongoing development and building work.

Reports that China’s mining operations are turning the Himalayas into “another South China Sea” were dismissed as completely groundless hype by Chinese observers on May 21, reported China’s official globaltimes.cn May 21.

However, the report then cited Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of International Relations, as saying it was legitimate for China to conduct activities within its territory.

Calling the Hong-Kong published South China Morning Post report a “groundless hype”, Hu has said it reflected the fact that some Western powers were constantly sowing discord between China and India, and using Delhi as a pawn on the frontline challenging Beijing.

Besides, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang was cited as saying May 21 that his country was only conducting regular geological and scientific research on the country’s own territory.

The South China Morning Post report had said a huge trove of gold, silver and other precious minerals – valued at nearly $60 billion by Chinese state geologists – had been found. It also quoted “people familiar with the project” as saying that the mines were part of an ambitious plan by Beijing to reclaim South Tibet — the Chinese name for Arunachal Pradesh.

Mr Lu said the media should stop hyping up “groundless reports”, reported thehindu.com May 21.

For good measure, Mr Lu has also said China had never recognised “so-called Arunachal Pradesh” as part of India, thereby seemingly justifying the South China Morning Post report’s citing of Chinese experts working on the Lhuntse County mining projects.

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