A day after China ‘standardised’ names for six areas in Arunachal Pradesh reportedly following the Dalai Lama’s visit to the state last week, India on Thursday made it clear that renaming or inventing a name does not make illegally-held territory legal. In a statement to the media, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Gopal Baglay did not mince his words: “Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.”
Earlier on Tuesday, when Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesperson Lu Kang was asked if the move was in response to the Buddhist spiritual leader’s visit to the state, he didn’t offer any pointed answer. “I can also tell you that the Chinese government is carrying out the second national census and one of the important tasks is to standardise minority names. In the next step, relevant departments will further increase the research on the study of Tibetan names, and we will be able to publish more standard names,” said Kang.
The six names renamed by China are as follows: Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidengarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bumo La and Namkapub Ri. The corresponding names with their latitude and longitude taken into account list these places as Tawang, Kra Daadi, West Siang, Siang, Anjaw and Subansiri respectively.
While China’s latest move is being seen by some experts as a means to underscore its territorial sovereignty, China said it was a part of a census exercise indicating that more could follow.
China yesterday had announced that it has “standardised” official names for six places in the Northeastern state and termed the provocative move as a “legitimate action”.