Japan has told China that its plans to build 2,000 kms of “strategic road” in India’s North-East do not come under the disputed areas along the Sino-India border, a senior Chinese official said today.
“China has noted such reports and checked with capable authorities,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing here today answering a question about reports that Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) will build 2,000 km “strategic road” in the “disputed” Eastern part of China-India boundary.
“The Japanese side has clarified that its cooperation with India is not in the disputed area between China and India,” Hong said.
According to recent media reports, India has agreed to allot the project to build about 2,000 km road along the India-China border to JICA, which has expertise in building roads in the rugged hilly terrain.
JICA will also provide financial assistance, the report said.
China which claims Arunachal Pradesh as Southern Tibet has earlier opposed Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) plans to extend assistance there stating that it was a disputed area.
According to Hong, China sought clarification from Japan.
He did not elaborate “capable authority” or whether the issue was taken up with India.
Chinese Foreign Ministry in recent weeks raised concerns over plans announced by India to improve road network along the Arunachal border as well as to establish 54 new border posts stating that pending final settlement of the boundary question, India should refrain from taking any action that may complicate it.
China says the border dispute is confined to 2,000 kms mostly in Arunachal Pradesh where as India asserts that the dispute covered the western side of the border spanning to about 4,000 kms.
Early this year, India has invited Japan to assist improving the infrastructure in North East areas which could also pave the way for enhancing India’s connectivity with South East Asian countries.
Also Japanese Minister for Land, Infrastructure and Tourism Akihiro Ohta during his visit to New Delhi in September this year has offered to assist India in building infrastructure in the North Eastern states.
The offer was made during his meeting with Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.