India strongly responded to China’s move renaming 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as South Tibet. On Tuesday (April 4), India said it “rejected this outright”.
The ministry of external affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi firmly stated that “Arunachal Pradesh is, has been, and will always” be an integral part of India.
Bagchi said in a statement, “We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has made such an attempt. We reject this outright. Arunachal Pradesh is, has been, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. Attempts to assign invented names will not alter this reality.”
His comments came in response to media queries regarding the renaming of certain places in Arunachal Pradesh by China.
In yet another unilateral step that would worsen its relationship with India, China on Sunday has reportedly renamed 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh, which it calls the Zangnan, or South Tibet.
According to reports, the list of names in Chinese, Tibetan and Pinyin characters have been released by the Chinese ministry of civil affairs following regulations on geographical names issued by the Chinese cabinet.
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This is the third time China has renamed places in Arunachal Pradesh. The Chinese civil affairs ministry had announced the first batch of standardized geographical names of six places in 2017 and a second list of 15 places was released in 2021.
According to state-run tabloid Global Times, coordinates for two land areas, two residential areas, five mountain peaks, two rivers as well their subordinate administrative districts have been given in the list.
“According to the relevant regulations of the State Council (China’s cabinet) on the management of geographical names, our ministry, together with relevant departments, has standardized some geographical names in southern Tibet,” a release issued by the civil affairs ministry said on Sunday.
Zhang Yongpan from the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences told Global Times that the step to standardize names “falls within China’s sovereignty.”
Other experts told the tabloid that names of more places in the region are expected to be standardized in the future.
India has been pushing back against Beijing’s claims that Zangnan is a part of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China. New Delhi has earlier dismissed China’s move to rename places in Arunachal Pradesh and has reiterated that the area was an integral part of India and renaming it wouldn’t change the fact.