Beijing, April 6 (IANS) A Chinese state-run daily has slammed India, especially Indian Minister Kiren Rijiju, over the status of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as "Southern Tibet", and said if India "chooses to play dirty" then Beijing "should not hesitate to answer blows with blows".
In an editorial, titled 'India's use of Dalai Lama as leverage irresponsible', the state-run China Daily said that New Delhi "not only allowed the Dalai Lama to visit Southern Tibet, a historical Chinese territory India has illicitly occupied and refers to as "Arunachal Pradesh", but the spiritual leader of "Tibetan independence" was also escorted on his trip by India's junior minister of home affairs.
"To Beijing, that is a double affront."
It slammed Rijiju, who is from Arunachal Pradesh, for terming the northeastern state "an inseparable part of India".
"Rijiju might think himself cute in borrowing a line from Beijing's diplomatic representations, but he has ignored the fundamental distinction here."
It says that like Taiwan and any other part of China, "Tibet is a part of Chinese territory no matter whether New Delhi agrees or not".
But "Southern Tibet, on the other hand, was stolen from China" by the British during its rule "taking advantage of China's internal strife".
It advised Rijiju to "consult the historical archives" in case of doubt on the matter.
"Neither the "McMahon Line", by which New Delhi justifies its actual control of Southern Tibet, nor the present-day "Arunachal Pradesh" has Beijing's endorsement. In other words, Indian occupation of the area is legally untenable. Using it as leverage, therefore, is not just unethical. It is outright illicit," said the editorial.
The editorial comes a day after Beijing summoned the Indian envoy Vijay Gokhale to protest the visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh. India has maintained that Arunachal Pradesh is an inseparable part of its territory.