Japan’s proposals to invest in infrastructure projects such as road connectivity and electricity in India’s northeast have rattled China which said on Friday that is opposed to any foreign investment in what it called a “disputed” region. China also said that it is against any third party’s involvement in resolving its border disputes with India.
On Thursday, PM Narendra Modi and his visiting Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation for India’s first bullet train project.
At the ceremoney, New Delhi said that it welcomed proposals for increased Japanese investment into infrastructure projects in India’s northeast.
Japanese investment into the northeast “would give legs to our Act East policy,” Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had told reporters.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “You also mentioned Act East policy. You must be clear that the boundary of India and China border area has not been totally delimited. We have disputes on the eastern section of the boundary,” she told reporters in Beijing. China claims parts of India’s north-eastern state Arunachal Pradesh as southern Tibet.
“We are now trying to seek a solution through negotiations that is acceptable to both sides. Under such circumstances, various parties should respect such aspects and any third party should not be involved in our efforts to resolve the disputes,” she was quoted by news agency reports as saying. Abe’s visit looks to deepen economic and defences ties with India to balance China’s growing power in the region. Northeast is a region India sees as its gateway to Southeast Asia. Beijing is also rattled because Tokyo wants to grab other high-speed rail lines India plans to build, to edge out Chinese ambitions to do the same.
“To be frank we are also closely following the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to India. I read the joint statement carefully but I have not found the statement mentioned the term China at all,” Hua Chunying said.
She, however, said that India and Japan are important countries in Asia and China hopes the normal development of the relationship can be conducive to regional, peace and development and play a constructive role in this process.
On Friday, Modi and Abe also held summit talks and signed 15 agreements to enhance strategic partnership, agreeing to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
China and Japan also have dispute over the uninhabited islands called Senkakus by Japan and Diaoyu islands by China in the East China Sea where naval ships of both the countries aggressively patrol the waters around the islands.