(TibetanReview.net, Nov18’20) – China’s claim that the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh belongs to it for the reason that it is a part of Tibet under its occupation rule has no takers in the state itself. Chief Minister Pema Khandu has reiterated Nov 17 that the territory historically shared border not with China but Tibet.
The government of India may officially call it India-China border, but to him, it has always been India-Tibet border.
“It is a fact that Arunachal does not share a direct border with China. The direct border is with Tibet. Nobody can erase history,” the newindianexpress.com Nov 17 quoted Khandu as saying in an interview.
Because of opposition by China, which calls Arunachal Pradesh China’s southern Tibet region, multilateral institutions like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank do not extend loans to the state’s development projects. Khandu has said his was hurting his state.
“This is a very big hurdle in terms of development. Their interest rate is very low. Other states get foreign funds to the tune of thousands of crores. But Arunachal has remained deprived. It received no foreign funding till date,” the report quoted Khandu as saying.
Following decades of neglect under successive governments, New Delhi has now embarked on major development projects in the state, including critically needed strategic transport and electricity projects. These include the upgradation of eight 1962-built advanced landing grounds and the construction of a 1,600 km long Trans-Arunachal Highway.
“With Tibet, we share a border of over 1,100 km. The road is on priority for troops movement. We have two other important projects — Frontier Highway and East-West Industrial Corridor. Through the construction of Frontier Highway, we aim to connect the border areas. We already had some meetings with the Defence Ministry and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The MHA is helping us with funds…” Khandu was quoted as saying.
He has called the lack of transport and communication infrastructure a major handicap for the state’s development, given its great potential for progress.