BEIJING - Beijing will lodge a "stern" protest with New Delhi over a trip by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a disputed area, an official said Thursday, months after the nuclear-armed neighbours ended a tense border standoff. Modi paid a low-key visit to the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday, where he inaugurated a local convention centre, but the trip was quickly criticised by China, which also claims the area. "The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called Arunachal Pradesh and is firmly opposed to the Indian leader's visit to the disputed area," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang.