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'Not the First Time': MEA Rejects China's Renaming of Spots in Arunachal Pradesh

China has a track record of publishing "standardised" names for places in Arunachal Pradesh.

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The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) brushed off China's attempt to rename places in Arunachal Pradesh as "invented names" that "will not alter this reality."

Not buying it: "We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has made such an attempt. We reject this outright," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Tuesday, 4 April.

  • "Arunachal Pradesh is, has been, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India," the ministry's statement reiterated

A list of names for 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh was released by China's Ministry of Civil Affairs on Sunday, 2 April.

  • The names were written in Chinese, Tibetan, and pinyin characters, according to The Indian Express

  • News agency ANI reported that the list featured land spots, mountain peaks, rivers, and even residential areas

  • It also reportedly featured the corresponding subordinate administrative districts

Why it matters: China has a history of similar actions. In 2017 and 2021, it had published two separate sets of "standardised" names for locations in Arunachal Pradesh.

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Between the lines: China has staked claim of over 90,000 sq km in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • The northeastern state is reportedly shown to be part of China in the country's maps

  • These renaming attempts are strategically meant to emphasise that Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory

  • India has consistently cricitised these efforts by saying that “renaming or inventing names of states of your neighbour do not make illegal occupation as legal.”

Meanwhile, Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is in town to discuss bilateral ties between the two countries. His visit to India comes in the backdrop of his recent comments on the Doklam border issue.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:   China   Border dispute   Diplomacy 

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