A DAY after China announced its own standardised names for 15 more places in Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as “South Tibet”, Delhi reacted sharply and said the state is an integral part of India and “assigning invented names to places… does not alter this fact”.
China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs announced Wednesday that it had standardised in Chinese characters, and the Tibetan and Roman alphabet, the names of 15 places in Zangnan, the Chinese name for Arunachal Pradesh, the state-run Global Times reported.
This is in accordance with regulations on geographical names issued by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, the report said.
Among the official names of the 15 places, with longitude and latitude, eight are residential areas, four are mountains, two are rivers and one is a mountain pass, the report said.
This is the second batch of standardised names of places in Arunachal given by China, after six other places in 2017.
Responding to China’s latest move, Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: “We have seen such reports.
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. 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.”
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488 km long LAC, and Beijing regularly protests visits of top Indian leaders and officials to Arunachal Pradesh to reaffirm its claim.
The eight residential areas in China’s second batch of names are Sêngkezong and Daglungzong in Cona County of Shannan Prefecture; Mani’gang, Duding and Migpain in Medog County of Nyingchi; Goling and Damba in Zayu County of Nyingchi; and, Mejag in Lhunze County of Shannan Prefecture, the Global Times reported. The four mountains are Wamo Ri, Dêu Ri, Lhünzhub Ri and Kunmingxingzê Feng, it said. The two rivers are Xenyogmo He and Dulain He, and the mountain pass is named Se La, the report said.
Explained: Beijing aggressive approach
China assigning names of places in Arunachal Pradesh is part of its strategy to reiterate territorial claims with India. In the past, Beijing has always objected to visits by Indian leaders – Presidents, Prime Ministers and senior ministers – to the north-eastern state. In recent months, there are reports of China establishing villages along the Line of Actual Control. The naming is part of the country’s aggressive expansionist approach.