New Delhi on Thursday hit back at China for objecting to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, saying it did not stand to reason and understanding of Indian people.

“Our position on Arunachal Pradesh is clear and consistent. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. Indian leaders routinely travel to the state of Arunachal Pradesh as they do to any other state of India. Objecting to the visit of Indian leaders to a state of India does not stand to reason and understanding of the Indian people,” the spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar, said at a press briefing.

Even as it thanked India for its support to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak, China on Thursday reopened a hostile front with India as Beijing “firmly opposed” Shah’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh on its statehood day and warned India against “complicating” the border issue.

Arunachal Pradesh became a full state from a Union Territory, 34 years ago on February 20. The region was part of British India in 1913-14 and formally included when the McMohan Line was established as the border between India and Tibet in 1938.

Disputing India’s sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media in Beijing that “the Chinese government has never recognised the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ and is firmly opposed to Shah’s visit.”

It said Shah’s trip violated Beijing’s “territorial sovereignty and sabotaged political mutual trust”.

Amit Shah was visiting Itanagar to attend the 34th Statehood Day function and launch a number of projects related to industry and roads.

China routinely objects to Indian leaders’ visits to the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh to highlight its claims over it. “China’s position on the eastern sector of the China-India boundary, or the southern part of China’s Tibet region, is consistent and clear,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a media briefing on Thursday while replying to a question.

“The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ and is firmly opposed to the Indian politician’s visit to the southern part of China’s Tibet region as it violated China’s territorial sovereignty, undermined stability of the border area, sabotaged political mutual trust, and violated relevant bilateral agreement,” he said.

“The Chinese side urges the Indian side to stop taking any action that may further complicate the border issue and take concrete actions to uphold peace and tranquillity of the border area,” he said. The India-China border dispute covers 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).