China at its best again. In its latest attempt to lay claim to areas inside India’s territory, the Chinese government on Sunday announced the so called standardization of the names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh. China has released a list of the 11 places inside the Arunachal Pradesh instead as inside the southern Tibetan region, that China refers to as Zangnan. What more absurd is that the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs even included a town close to the Arunachal Pradesh capital of Itanagar.
This is not the first such attempt of China, this indeed a third such list on Arunachal Pradesh in the recent times, attempting to “rename” places by giving them what it calls “standardised geographical names”. In 2017, the Chinese Ministry of Civilian Affairs put out a similar list of six places, and in December 2021, released a list of 15 places that it sought to rename.
The notification dated April 2 (No. 548) said that “according to the relevant provisions of the State Council on the management of geographical names, (China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs), together with relevant departments, has standardised some geographical names in southern Tibet. The third batch of supplementary place names for public use in southern Tibet (11 in total) is now officially announced.”
The 11 places named include five mountain peaks, two more populated areas, two land areas and two rivers. The claimed geographical area has always been controlled and administered by India. An appended list released by China included names in Mandarin, Tibetan, Pinyin (English transliteration) of the 11 places along with exact Latitude and Longitude coordinates. A map that is also part of the announcement shows much of Arunachal Pradesh marked as Zangnan, in the south of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, that China calls Xizang.
India has out rightly rejected the Chinese claim
On the other hand, the India has out rightly rejected China’s attempts at renaming parts of India’s territory in Arunachal Pradesh.
“We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has made such an attempt. We reject this outright. Arunachal Pradesh is, has been and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. Attempts to assign invented names will not alter this reality,” said Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.
The April 2nd announcement comes ahead of a visit to India this month by China’s newly appointed Defence Minister General Li Shangfu, who is expected to attend the SCO Defence Ministers’ meeting, and a visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who will attend the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in May in Goa.
The USA ‘Strongly oppose’ the China’s act of renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh
The United States supported India and said it strongly opposes any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by renaming localities. The United States has reacted after China renamed 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as South Tibet.
In a statement, the White House said that the United States has recognized Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of India and strongly opposes any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by renaming localities.
“The United States has recognised that territory (Arunachal Pradesh) for a long time (as an integral part of India). And we strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by renaming localities,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday.
“And so, again, this is something that we have long stood by,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news conference.
China’s Evil Designs, want to create a tension to thwart India’s progress
It is important to note that the publication of the first list had come in the same year as the confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam, while the second list and the latest one come after the LAC standoff between the Indian Army and PLA forces began in April 2020.
Despite several rounds of official talks and military commander-level talks that have led to disengagement in certain sectors after the Galwan killings in 2020, there have been reports of Chinese attempts at transgressing the boundaries.
In December, Indian and Chinese troops had clashed in the Yangtse area of Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh. Chinese soldiers attempted to “unilaterally change the status quo” by transgressing the Line of Actual Control in Tawang sector on December 9, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had told Parliament.
China is trying hard to destabilize the region by making encroachments and outlandish claims on its neighbors territory. India, which has established itself as a worthy contender, which can dethrone the China, especially on product manufacturing domain, has become a primary target for China in this region.
China is trying to hurt India at any possible forum. It is hand in glove with its so called ‘all weather’ friend Pakistan, and it is hatching all sort of conspiracies and deceptions to hurt India with the help of internal and external actors.