Reacting to China's constant needling over the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, today India has asked the Chinese administration to stop creating "artificial controversy" and asserted that the territorial integrity of the north-eastern state cannot be questioned.
Addressing reporters in New Delhi, minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju, who is from Arunachal Pradesh, said India does not interfere in the internal matters of China, and expect Beijing to do the same.
"The territorial integrity of Arunachal Pradesh cannot be questioned. The people of the state are upset by some calling it as a disputed territory. I would like to appeal to Chinese to not rake up this issue," he said.
Rijiju said India respects the 'One China' policy and expects Beijing to reciprocate. ''India does not interfere in our neighbours' internal matters and we expect the same from them," the minister said.
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit Arunachal Pradesh today, where he will hold religious discourse with devotees in Tawang, Bomdila and other areas.
Though the Tibetan spiritual leader has cancelled his visit to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh due to bad weather, he will be going to Bomdila later today, a visit opposed by China, which considers all of Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of southernmost Tibet.
Rijiju called Dalai's proposed visit to Tawang "purely religious" with no "political angle" to it. "Dalai Lama is entering Arunachal Pradesh today. He will have five-day rituals there. I will be joining him tomorrow after the Parliament session. The visit is purely religious, there should be no political angle to it," he said.
Earlier, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had warned India that the visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh will cause "serious damage" to the bilateral ties. (See: Dalai visit to Arunachal will hit ties, reiterates China).