China’s move to name six places hints at the reaffirmation of their territorial sovereignity in Arunachal Pradesh. (Photo: Reuters)
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India Hits Back at China’s Decision to Rename Arunachal Regions

Hitting back at China’s decision to to rename six places in Arunachal Pradesh in its map and representing them as its own territory, India today responded by saying, “Renaming or inventing names of states of your neighbour do not make illegal occupation legal”.

China’s aggressive move was in response to the Dalai Lama’s visit to the Indian state earlier this month.

"China's Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on 14 April that it had standardised in Chinese characters, Tibetan, and Roman alphabet, the names of six places in 'South Tibet', which India calls 'Arunachal Pradesh', in accordance with the regulations of the central government," state-run Global Times reported on Wednesday.

As per reports in Global Times, the Chinese name of the six places are Wo’gyainling (Urgelling Monastery) , Mila Ri (Daporijo) , Qoidêngarbo Ri (Upper Siang District), Mainquka (Menchuka), Bümo La (Bum La) and Namkapub Ri (Namka valley).

"These names have existed since ancient times, but had never been standardised before. Therefore, announcing the names is like a remediation," Guo Kefan, a research fellow at the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences, said.

Standardising the names from the angles of culture and geography could serve as a reference or leverage when China and India negotiate border issues in future, Guo said.

Hindustan Times quoted, Xiong Kunxin, professor of ethnic studies at Beijing’s Minzu University of China, as saying:

The standardisation came amid China’s growing understanding and recognition of the geography in South Tibet. Naming the places is a step to reaffirm China’s territorial sovereignty to South Tibet.

Spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry Lu Kang did not hide China’s anger with the Dalai Lama’s visit when asked about the nomenclature. He said:

Let me stress that about the Indian government’s indulgence of Dalai Lama activities in disputed eastern section of the India-China boundary and also about his anti-China activities; this is something we are firmly against. These activities are also against the Indian government’s commitments to China.

He also said that renaming those areas were “legitimate” as the “name have been passed from generation to generation”, Hindustan Times reported.

Among the renamed areas, renaming Urgelling monastery is quite obviously linked to the Tibetan spiritual leader’s visit. But India has so far not commented on the matter.

The spiritual leader had visited Arunachal Pradesh earlier in April. China had vocally lodged a protest. But MoS for State Kiren Rijiju who accompanied the Dalai Lama during the visit had said that China should not meddle in India’s private matters. The Dalai Lama too accused China of politicising his “spiritual” visits.

(With inputs from PTI and Hindustan Times)