Guwahati: India dismissed China’s move to rename 15 locations in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which is claimed by Beijing, and said such actions will not alter the region’s status as an integral part of the country.
New Delhi’s sharp rebuttal after China’s ministry of civil affairs issued a statement that said it has “standardized” the names of 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh for use in Chinese maps. The statement referred to the Indian state as Zangnan, the southern part of China’s Xizang region.
Among the 15 locations renamed by China are eight residential areas, four mountains, two rivers and a mountain pass.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi referred to China’s move of renaming the places in Arunachal Pradesh in its language. 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.
Bagchi further added that 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.
China claims 90,000 sq. km in Arunachal Pradesh as southern Tibet, but such claims have always been rejected by the Indian side. The latest development came against the backdrop of a standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control, which began in May last year and has taken relations to an all-time low.