National Affairs

China Renames 11 Places In Arunachal. Calls It ‘Southern Tibet’. Reacts New Delhi

China has released a set of new names for 11 places in the state as part of efforts to reinvigorate its claim on Arunachal Pradesh. 

This is the third time when China has ‘renamed’ places in Arunachal Pradesh. China calls Arunachal Pradesh ‘Zangnan, the southern part of Tibet’. 

China’s Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday released a set of names in Chinese, Tibetan and Pinyin characters, based on geographical names issued by regulations by the State Council of China’s cabinet.

The first two such lists were released in 2018 and 2021. China had earlier released a list of six names, while in 2021 it had ‘renamed’ 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh. 

However New Delhi strongly rejected China’s claims on both the occasions. Responding to media queries regarding China renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has made such an attempt.” We reject it outright.” Arunachal Pradesh is, and will remain, an integral part of India. Such efforts will not change the reality”.

According to The Global Times, which is part of the People’s Daily group of publications, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party in China, Chinese officials are calling the move a ‘standardised geographical name’. 

The first set of names was announced by China in 2017 after the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh. China was sharply critical of the Tibetan spiritual leader’s visit. 

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet via Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and took refuge in India in 1959 following China’s military takeover of the Himalayan region in 1959.

Amid the month-long border standoff in eastern Ladakh, there was a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the state’s Tawang sector last December. 

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh then accused China of trying to “unilaterally” change the status quo along the LAC.

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