Beijing, August 7: A news portal controlled by the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) has dropped an article that stated Arunachal Pradesh as an Indian state and not part of south Tibet, as is officially claimed in China. The article was written by an Indian journalist visiting Beijing on Chinese government’s fellowship. The article titled ‘India’s old age population hits an all-time high since independence’, was carried by en.people.cn, People’s Daily’s English portal. The news portal is a mouthpiece of CPC.
The article stated that Indian state Arunachal Pradesh has the least old age people, with only 4.6 people of its population above the age of 60, while Meghalaya has 4.7 percent of old age people. The article was posted on August 3. According to a report published by Hindustan Times, the article has been dropped from the website, and its link throws an “error” message. It is believed that it might have been an inadvertent error on the part of the editorial team. China has always refused to claim Arunachal Pradesh as an Indian state, rather, according to the communist country, it is a part of southern Tibet.
Earlier this year, ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) spokesperson Geng Shuang said that China’s position on the border issue was clear and consistent and it never acknowledged the existence of ‘so-called’ Arunachal Pradesh. China had also criticised Prime Minister Narender Modi’s visit to the state In February and warned of lodging a diplomatic protest, Beijing had also objected to President Ram Nath Kovind visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
Last year India and China were locked in an over two-month-long military stand-off near their boundary in the Doklam plateau in Bhutan. The stand-off began in June when Indian troops, in aid of their Bhutanese counterparts stalled road building by the Chinese Army in the area. Doklam holds strategic importance in a military dispute. After getting control of the area, China could have easily kept an eye on Siliguri Corridor or ‘Chicken’s Neck’, a narrow passage connecting eastern states to the rest of the country.