India dismisses China land swap idea on Tawang

China's former top diplomat Dai Bingguo had said the border dispute between China and India can be resolved if New Delhi accepts Beijing's claim over the strategically vital Tawang region in Arunachal Pradesh in return for an unspecified land swap. He last visited Arunachal Pradesh in 2009 and while China protested the trip, there was no major impact on relations with India.

Quoting Indian officials, the Reuters report said that the government has taken a stand that being a secular democracy, India can not stop the Dalai Lama from travelling to any part of the country including Arunachal Pradesh.

Dalai Lama is considered by China as a risky separatist leader, who can affect for the worse ties between India and China.

On Friday, Chinese foreign ministry said it has urged India to "stick to its political commitments" about refraining from taking actions that might complicate the boundary issue and "not provide a platform to the Dalai clique".

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Arunachal Pradesh comprises the eastern sector of the almost 3,500-km disputed border between India and China.

"In 1985, China specified that the concession it was seeking in the East was Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, something that any government of India would find hard to accept, as this was settled area that had sent representatives to every Indian Parliament since 1950", he wrote.

Chinese spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Geng Shuang said, "China's position on the eastern section of China-India border dispute is consistent and clear".

While China says the border dispute covers Arunachal Pradesh which it claims as Southern Tibet, India asserts that the dispute covered Aksai Chin area. "It is also an important consensus reached by the two sides".

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"At present the two sides have reached a roadmap to find a solution based on political parameters and guiding principles".

"China would like to work with India to work relentlessly on negotiation process and find a solution that is equitable, reasonable to all parties", he added.

Elaborating China's stand, Dai, who conducted border talks with five Indian Special Representatives starting with Brajesh Mishra in 2003, said, "The disputed territory in the eastern sector of the China-India boundary, including Tawang, is inalienable from China's Tibet in terms of cultural background and administrative jurisdiction".

Geng said China had conveyed its displeasure and concerns to India about the impending visit through formal channels.

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Beijing issued a demarche after the Dalai Lama was hosted, among other Nobel laureates, by the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan, at a recent event.

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