India on Thursday countered criticism from Beijing over Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, asserting that it did not stand to reason and understanding to object to the visit of an Indian leader to a state of India.
China had registered its objection to Amit Shah's visit to Arunachal Pradesh earlier in the day, claiming that India had violated territorial sovereignty and "sabotaged" political mutual trust with India.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar responded to the dart, asserting that the Indian position on Arunachal Pradesh was "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," the external affairs ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.
Hurling darts at New Delhi is a routine exercise in Beijing when dignitaries visit Arunachal Pradesh. China claims Arunachal is part of the geographical territory of south Tibet or the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), which has a long mountainous border with China.
Thursday's reaction from China was on a visit to Arunachal Pradesh by Home Minister Amit Shah who was in the state to commemorate the 34th Statehood Day and launch developmental projects.
There were similar objections from China last year when other leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh traveled to the state.
India and China have a dispute over borders stretching from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh and it is yet to be resolved after many rounds of talks.
Last year, customs authorities in a northeastern Chinese city had destroyed nearly 30,000 world maps that showed Arunachal Pradesh as a part of India and Taiwan as a separate country. It was said to be the largest such exercise in recent years and was carried out to protect China's "territorial integrity".