‘If I change the name of your house…’: EAM Jaishankar reacts to China’s naming of places in Arunachal Pradesh


India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday reacted to China’s move of naming 30 places in Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing considers part of Southern Tibet. He said changing names won’t have any effect and Arunachal Pradesh was, is, and will always be India’s part. 

Addressing a press conference in Gujarat, Jaishankar said, “If today I change the name of your house, will it become mine? Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always be a state of India. Changing names does not have an effect.” He added that the Indian army is deployed at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs on Sunday released a fourth list of 30 new names of various places in Arunachal Pradesh. It had released the first list of the standardised names of six places in Zangnan – China’s official name for Arunachal – in 2017, the second list of 15 places in 2021 followed by another list with names for 11 places in 2023.

New Delhi has been rejecting China renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh, asserting that the state is an integral part of the country and assigning “invented” names does not alter this reality. 

Jaishankar on March 23 dismissed China’s repeated claims on Arunachal Pradesh as “ludicrous” and that the frontier state was a “natural part of India”. “This is not a new issue. I mean, China has laid claim, it has expanded its claim. The claims are ludicrous to begin with and remain ludicrous today,” he had said in response to a question after delivering a lecture at the prestigious Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) of the National University of Singapore (NUS). 

“So, I think we’ve been very clear, very consistent on this. And I think you know that is something which will be part of the boundary discussions which are taking place,” he said.