ITANAGAR, Jul 10: China on Wednesday objected to India's plans to expedite hydropower projects in the state, which it calls South Tibet. In a statement, China's Foreign Ministry said India has no right to carry out development in the area, asserting that "South Tibet is China’s territory."

The statement described the establishment of what India refers to as Arunachal Pradesh on Chinese territory as "illegal and invalid."

This response follows a Reuters report on Tuesday that India plans to spend $1 billion to accelerate the construction of 12 hydropower stations in the northeastern Himalayan state.

India's Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on China's statement.

India maintains that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country. However, China claims it as part of southern Tibet and has repeatedly objected to Indian infrastructure projects in the region.

Last week, India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Kazakhstan, where the two agreed to intensify efforts to resolve issues along their border.

Police had detained two anti-dam activists as a precautionary measure on Monday, hours before Union minister of power and housing and urban affairs, Manohar Lal Khattar, embarked on his maiden state visit.

During the minister’s visit to Itanagar, authorities held activist lawyer Ebo Mili and Siang Indigenous Farmers’ Forum (SIFF) convener Dunge Apang for over ten hours. They were released after signing a peace bond under section 128 of the Bharatiya Nagarik Surkasha Sanhita (previously the Code of Criminal Procedure), each facing a penalty of Rs 50,000 for any breach.

Police justified the detentions, citing credible sources indicating potential disruptions to a public meeting involving the chief minister, and the union minister. Anti-dam organizations, however, asserted the activists were peacefully advocating against the proliferation of dam construction in the state.