India on Thursday had strongly rejected China renaming 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh
India, China must adhere to past agreements to keep the peace along the border
Beijing: China on Friday defended the renaming of 15 more places in India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, claiming that the southern part of Tibet is an “inherent part” of its territory.
India on Thursday strongly rejected China renaming 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh and asserted that the state has “always been” and will “always be” an integral part of India and that assigning “invented” names does not alter this fact.
India’s reaction came in response to China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs announcing Chinese names for 15 more places in Arunachal Pradesh which Beijing claims as South Tibet.
“We have seen such. This is not the first time China has attempted such a renaming of places in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. China had also sought to assign such names in April 2017,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in New Delhi.
“Arunachal Pradesh has always been, and will always be an integral part of India. Assigning invented names to places in Arunachal Pradesh does not alter this fact,” Bagchi said.
The Chinese government’s announcement on December 30 that it had come up with its own names for 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh could not have come at a more precarious moment for an already strained relationship. The move is ostensibly aimed at “standardising” how places in the Indian State are depicted in official Chinese maps, which show all of Arunachal as “south Tibet”.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement in response to the move that “assigning invented names” will not “alter” any facts on the ground and Arunachal’s status as an integral part of India. As the MEA noted, this is not the first time that Beijing has done so. In 2017, Chinese authorities issued “official” names for six places in Arunachal. The first instance followed a visit by the Dalai Lama to the State, which Beijing had protested.
The list on this occasion is longer, and not only includes eight towns but also four mountains, two rivers and a mountain pass. The list covers 11 out of Arunachal’s 25 districts, extending from Tawang in the west to Dibang Valley in the north and Anjaw in the east. The spread of the locations suggests the places were chosen to reiterate Chinese claims to the whole State.
With inputs from The Hindu