China has provoked India once again by renaming 11 locations in Arunachal Pradesh which it calls “Zangan, the southern part of Tibet”. In quick response, India dismissed the China move to rename the places.
Experts believe that the move is expected to further intensify tension and deepen mistrust between New Delhi and Beijing who are in the middle of their worst bilateral chill in decades.
China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs on Sunday put out names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh in Chinese, Tibetan and pinyin characters. It said that they acted in accordance with regulations on geographical names issued by the State Council, the equivalent of the Chinese Cabinet. Reports said that the places include two land areas, two residential areas, five mountain peaks and two rivers. It also listed the category of places’ names and their subordinate administrative districts. It also released a map that showed parts of Arunachal Pradesh inside the southern Tibetan region which even includes a town situated close to the state capital of Itanagar.
This is the third time that China has indulged renaming of places. It released two different sets of “standardised” names of places in Arunachal Pradesh back in 2017 and 2021.
Dismissing the move, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, that “Arunachal Pradesh is, has been, and will always” be an integral part of India. “This is not the first time China has made such an attempt. We reject this outright. Arunachal Pradesh an integral, inalienable part of India. Attempts to assign invented names will not alter this reality.”
THE CHINESE ARGUMENT
China disputes the legal status of the McMahon Line, which is the boundary between Tibet and British India that was agreed at the Simla Convention. China claims territory to the south of the McMahon Line, lying in Arunachal Pradesh. They base the claim on the historical ties that have existed between the monasteries in Tawang and Lhasa.