China on Monday said that it had never recognized the so-called Arunachal Pradesh illegally established by India on the Chinese territory. “We have never recognised the so-called Arunachal Pradesh illegally established on the Chinese territory,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during his regular briefing. He said, China’s position on the eastern section of the China and India boundary and China’s Southern Tibet was consistent and clear.Responding to a question about five civilians who went missing from Arunachal Pradesh days ago, he said, “Regarding the specifics, you mentioned I am not aware of it now.” The Chinese and Indian soldiers recently engaged in the most serious border clashes since they fought a war in 1962, leaving as many as 20 Indian soldiers dead during the fight. China blamed India for the incidents, calling the actions by Indian border troops “infringing and provocative.”The disputed border covers nearly 3,500 kilometers of frontier that the two countries call the Line of Actual Control and that stretches from Ladakh in the north to the Indian state of Sikkim in the northeast. The two countries have been trying to settle their border dispute since the early 1990s without success. Meanwhile, the Indian Army has asked its Chinese counterpart if five civilians who went missing from an eastern border state days ago were in their custody, an Indian military spokesman said on Monday.Relations between the nuclear-armed Asian giants have hit a multi-decade low since clashes at their western Himalayan border in June that killed 20 Indian soldiers. Both sides have since stepped up monitoring of their largely unsettled 3,488 kilometres border. The five missing men are from the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Indian Army said it told China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) about the five on Saturday. “We spoke with them on the hotline and told them that it’s suspected that some people have crossed across to your side and we will be grateful if you could hand them over back, as per what we do normally,” Lt Col Harsh Wardhan Pande, a spokesman for India’s defence forces, told Reuters. “There is no earmarked line going through the forest or the mountains, so they keep moving here and there. So they might have gone there. It’s a very normal thing.” He said they were yet to hear back from the Chinese.A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said at a daily briefing that he was not aware of the situation.