Guard Chinese soil, President Xi Jinping tells herdsmen near Arunachal Pradesh border

Xi Jinping began his second term in office after the Communist Party of China (CPC) Congress ended last week. File Photo Related News

President Xi Jinping has told herdsmen from a Tibetan settlement bordering Arunachal Pradesh to “set down roots” to safeguard “Chinese territory” and focus on developing their hometown.

“Without peace in the territory, there will be no peaceful lives for the millions of families,” Xi, who began his second term in office after the Communist Party of China (CPC) Congress, wrote to a herding family in Lhunze County in Tibet.

Xi told the herding family from Lhunze County, near the Himalayas, to set down roots in the border area, safeguard “Chinese territory” and develop their hometown.

India asserts the Sino-Indian border dispute covers the 4,057 km Line of Actual Control, while China claims it is confined to about 2,000 km to the area of Arunachal Pradesh, which it refers to as Southern Tibet.

The family is based in Yumai, China’s smallest town in terms of population, where steep slopes and rugged paths make it difficult to live, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Xi acknowledged the family’s efforts to “safeguard the territory, and thanked them for the loyalty and contributions they have made in the border area,” the report said.

Xi, who also heads the Central Military Commission – the overall high command of the Chinese military – made the remarks in a reply delivered to the Tibetan herders on Saturday, after they wrote to him introducing their township.

Two girls – Zhoigar and Yangzom – from the Tibetan family wrote the letter to Xi, while the Congress was in session in Beijing, telling him their experiences in safeguarding the border area and the development of their township over the years.

The Chinese president hoped the family would motivate more herders to set down roots in the border area “like galsang flowers,” and become guardians of Chinese territory and builders of a happy hometown. Xi told the family the party would continue to lead people of all ethnic groups towards better lives, the report said.

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