‘Integral part of India…’ MEA on Chinese attempt to rename places in Arunachal Pradesh

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Ministry of External Affairs has reiterated its commitment that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India in response to the Chinese attempt to rename 11 places in the state. China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs had released a list of 11 locations that it has renamed or ‘standardized’. The list includes two land areas, two residential areas, five mountain peaks and two rivers. 

“We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has made such an attempt. We reject this outright” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, responding to several media reports asserting that China had sought to rename 11 locations in Arunachal Pradesh.

“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.” Bagchi added

India has long maintained its position that Arunachal Pradesh has always been and will always be an integral part of the country. Meanwhile, China considers Arunachal Pradesh as part of its territory and calls the state Zangnan or the southern part of Tibet.

China has released the list of renamed places three times so far. The first list of 6 places was released in 2017, after the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal, while the second list of 15 names was released in 2021.

Also Read: ‘Tibetan must decide Dalai Lama’s successor’: Japanese Buddhist Conference

While releasing the list of renamed places on Sunday, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs said, “According to the relevant regulations of the State Council (China’s cabinet) on the management of geographical names, our ministry, together with relevant departments, has standardized some geographical names in southern Tibet.”

China’s state-run media, The Global Times, also quoted some experts as saying that the move to “standardize” some “geographical places” falls under China’s sovereignty.

China’s motives behind the latest provocation aren’t clear at the moment, especially considering that top Chinese ministers are scheduled to visit India in May for meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

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