Amid the tension between India and China over the violent face-off in Ladakh, where 20 Indian soldiers had been killed 10 days ago, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, right here on Wednesday, termed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as the “Indo-Tibet border”.
Posting the pictures of an army event within the state, Khandu tweeted, “The valour of Indian Army is what we counted ever since our Independence. Had an opportunity to interact with the brave jawans today at Bumla post on the Indo-Tibet border. Their josh (excitement) is at the highest level. We’re in safe hands in terms of our borders.”
The statement assumes significance as China has been in occupation of the autonomous region of Tibet, an area of around 2.5 million sq km, since 1951 and the Tibetan authorities has been in exile in India.
New Delhi refers its border with Tibet in Arunachal Pradesh as the LAC.
China disputes India’s sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh, which has an area of around 84,000 sq km and population of around 1.5 million. India’s boundaries had been defined by the British before Independence. But China occupied Aksai Chin in Jammu & Kashmir and raised dispute over the boundary of Arunachal Pradesh in the 1962 conflict with India.
Around 1,00,000 Tibetans (73 per cent of all Tibetans), including the Dalai Lama, their spiritual chief, are in exile in India.
However in the last few years, the central government seemed to be distancing itself from the community. In 2018, the government prohibited its officials and leaders from attending the events to mark the 60th anniversary of Tibetan exile.
The prohibition came on the eve of an informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. As a result, the Tibetan government in exile cancelled its events in New Delhi.