A day after China released third set of names for 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh that it claims as South Tibet, India has strongly reacted to it, stating that it rejects the move outright.
A statement by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said this is not first time China has made such an attempt.
"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," Bagchi said.
China's Ministry of Civil Affairs, in its bid to stake claim over the Indian state, released standardised names of 11 places for Arunachal Pradesh, which it calls "Zangnan, the southern part of Tibet." The names were in Tibetan and pinyin, and according to Beijing "were in accordance with regulations on geographical names issued by the State Council."
Chinese state mouthpiece Global Times quoted experts who said the renaming "was a legitimate move and China's sovereign right to standardise the geographical names."
It also gave precise coordinates of the 11 places, which included two residential areas, five mountain peaks, two rivers and two other areas.
This isn't the first time that Beijing is resorting to such a move. In 2021, it announced Chinese names for 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh. Before that, Beijing sought to assign names for six places in 2017. Interestingly, the first set of names were announced by China just days after the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh. Beijing was then sharply critical of the Tibetan spiritual leader's visit. The Dalai Lama fled from Tibet through Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and sought refuge in India in 1959 after China took military control of the Himalayan region in 1950.
India had earlier too reacted to the renaming, stressing that "Arunachal Pradesh has always been, and will always be an integral part of India."