Day after India's strong reaction, China says Arunachal Pradesh part of 'our territory'

Day after India's strong reaction, China says Arunachal Pradesh part of 'our territory'

Day after India's strong reaction, China says Arunachal Pradesh part of 'our territory'
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning. FILE/AP.

New Delhi: “Zangnan (Arunachal Pradesh) is part of China’s territory… is within China’s sovereign rights,” said Beijing, hours after India “outrightly rejected” China’s attempt to rename 11 places in the Indian state.

“In accordance with relevant stipulations of the administration of geographical names of the State Council, competent authorities of the Chinese government have standardised the names of some parts of Zangnan. This is within China’s sovereign rights,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning at a press conference late on Tuesday.

China on Sunday released names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh which it calls “Zangnan, the southern part of Tibet.” It was for the third time Beijing made an attempt to lay claims to areas inside the Indian territory after 2017 and 2021.

Releasing a list of “standardised” names in Chinese, Tibetan and pinyin characters, the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs said the renaming was in accordance with regulations on geographical names issued by State Council, China’s cabinet.

These places include two land areas, two residential areas, five mountain peaks and two rivers.

The move was strongly condemned by the Indian government with the country’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) “outrightly rejecting” China’s attempt of renaming 11 places 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,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement on Tuesday.

But the question remains, why China has been persistently renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh?

For the unversed, China claims the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh as its territory and called it Zangnan, the southern part of Tibet.

China has been assigning new names to Arunachal regions as part of its strategy to make territorial claims to the Indian state.

The Line of Actual Control (LAC) divides India’s territory from China’s but there has been a dispute over it for several decades.

While India considers LAC to be 3,488 km long, China puts it somewhere around 2,000 km.

In the Eastern Sector of the LAC – Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim – the McMahon Line acts as the de facto boundary between India and China. This McMahon Line was agreed upon in 1914 at the ‘Convention Between Great Britain, China, and Tibet’ or Simla Convention and marked out borders between Tibet and British India.

China was represented by the government of the Republic of China, which ruled the mainland from 1912 to 1949.

The current communist government came to power in 1949, declaring the People’s Republic.

Also, China has been constantly expressing strong reservations every time any Indian leader visits Arunachal Pradesh.