India sees red as China runs riot renaming Arunachal towns

| | New Delhi
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India sees red as China runs riot renaming Arunachal towns

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 | Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

India sees red as China runs riot renaming Arunachal towns

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday rejected attempts by China to rename places in Arunachal Pradesh and asserted that assigning “invented names” will not alter the reality that the State “is, has been, and will always be” an integral and inalienable part of India. 

Responding to questions at a Press conference, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday had said, “If today I change the name of your house, will it become mine? Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always be a State of India. Changing names does not have an effect.”

The MEA statement on Tuesday was issued in response to media queries in the wake of China releasing a fourth list of 30 new names of various places in Arunachal Pradesh amid Beijing’s stepped-up assertions in recent weeks to re-emphasise its claim over the Indian State.

“China has persisted with its senseless attempts to rename places in the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh. We firmly reject such attempts. Assigning invented names will not alter the reality that Arunachal Pradesh is, has been, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India,” MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal was quoted as saying in the statement.

The 30 places renamed by Bejing include 12 mountains, four rivers, one lake, one mountain pass, 11 residential areas and a piece of land, state-run Global Times reported. A high-resolution map of the areas has also been shared by China.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju also criticised China, emphasising that such actions do not alter the ground reality.

“China has been making all baseless claims but that’s not going to change the ground reality and the ‘historical facts’. Arunachal Pradesh is an inalienable part of India, and the people of Arunachal Pradesh are supremely patriotic Indians by all standards and definitions,” Rijiju tweeted.

On March 28, India said Beijing may “repeat its baseless claims” as many times as it wants but that is not going to change New Delhi’s position that Arunachal Pradesh “was, is and will always remain” an integral and inalienable part of the country.

China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs made an announcement on March 30, which said it had “standardised” the names of 30 places in “southern Tibet”. The first such “standardised” list of six places was released in 2017, followed by a second list of 15 places in 2021, and a third list of 11 places in 2023.

In the past too, MEA had rejected the renaming. “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,” the MEA’s spokesperson said in April 2023.

Responding to questions on March 23, after delivering a lecture at the Institute of South Asian Studies, the National University of Singapore, Jaishankar termed China’s repeated claims as “ludicrous”, and said Arunachal Pradesh was a “natural part of India”.

“This is not a new issue. I mean, China has laid claim, it has expanded its claim. The claims are ludicrous to begin with and remain ludicrous today,” he had said. “So, I think we’ve been very clear, very consistent on this. And I think you know that is something which will be part of the boundary discussions which are taking place.”

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