China once again renames places in Arunachal Pradesh

China's Ministry of Civil Affairs has decided to rename 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh or what it calls Zangnan, the southern part of Tibet

Livemint
First Published4 Apr 2023
The first list of places to be renamed in 2017 was released after the Dalai Lama's high-profile visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
The first list of places to be renamed in 2017 was released after the Dalai Lama’s high-profile visit to Arunachal Pradesh.(HT_PRINT)

China has renamed 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh to lay claim to what it calls Zangnan, or the southern part of Tibet. The list of renamed places includes two land areas, two residential areas, five mountain peaks and two rivers. This is the third such list released by Beijing, the first list of 6 places was released in 2017, while the second list of 15 places was released in 2021.

While releasing the list of places it has renamed or "standardized," China's Ministry of Civil Affairs wrote, "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."

Also Read: India prioritised infra development along China border for obvious reasons: Jaishankar

Meanwhile, China's state-run media outlet The Global Times quoted some experts as saying that the move to standardise these geographical names ‘falls within China’s sovereignty’.

While there was no immediate response from the Indian side, India has earlier made it clear that Arunachal Pradesh has always been and always be an integral part of the country.

While talking about the renamings in 2021 External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had "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"

The first list of places to be renamed in 2017 was released after the Dalai Lama's high-profile visit to Arunachal Pradesh. The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 after China took control of Tibet. Meanwhile, China claims that Dalai Lama is a splittist who is trying to create an independent country for Tibet.

However, it's not clear why China has decided to rename these places in Arunachal Pradesh now, especially when the Chinese defense and foreign ministers are coming to India for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization defense and foreign ministers meeting in May.

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