India on Thursday reacted sharply to China renaming some places in Arunachal Pradesh and asserted that the state has "always been" and will "always be" an integral part of India and “assigning invented names to places… does not alter this fact”.
According to a report by the state-run Global Times on Wednesday, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs announced that it had standardised in Chinese characters, and the Tibetan and Roman alphabet, the names of 15 places in Zangnan, the Chinese name for Arunachal Pradesh.
This is in accordance with regulations on geographical names issued by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, the report stated.
As per the report, the official names of the 15 places, with longitude and latitude, includes eight residential areas, four mountains, two rivers and one mountain pass.
With this, China gave standardised names to places in Arunachal Pradesh for the second time, the first batch of the standardised names of six places was released in 2017.
Responding to this move of China, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "We have seen such. 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.”
“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," he added.
It may be noted that the India-China border dispute covers the 3,488 km long LAC, and Beijing regularly protests visits of top Indian leaders and officials to Arunachal Pradesh to reaffirm its claim.
China assigning names of places in Arunachal Pradesh is part of its strategy to reiterate territorial claims with India. It is part of the country’s aggressive expansionist approach