India plans to rename 30 locations in Tibet to counter China's renaming spree in Arunachal

Information warfare division of Army is responsible for coining the new names

India China flags Representational image | AP

In what appears to be a move to get even with China which has been renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh for years, India is planning to rename several places in Tibet.

New Delhi is expected to soon release a list of places in Tibet that will be renamed, according to a report in The Diplomat. China has reportedly renamed about 30 places in Tibet recently and India is expected to rename an equal number of places.

The information warfare division of the Indian Army is responsible for coining the new names, based on ancient names in Indian languages.

A former intelligence officer has been quoted as saying that as Narendra Modi has been campaigning in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls projecting his "strongman" image, it is natural that he may authorize the renaming of places in Tibet.

What's in a name?

Although China claims Arunachal Pradesh to be part of its territory, referring to it as "South Tibet" of "Zangnan", India has always rejected the claim and affirmed that the state is integral to its territory. China has been renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh for years. In April this year, China released the fourth list of such names. The places renamed in the state included 11 residential places, 12 mountains, four rivers, and one lake.

Beijing released the first list of six such names in 2017; the second list with 15 names was released in 2021 and the third list came out in 2023.

As India and China are embroiled in a series of border disputes, New Delhi believes that the decision by Beijing to rename places in Arunachal Pradesh is part of the country's plans to strengthen its territorial claim in the region.

"India has accepted Tibet as part Chin since it was forcibly occupied by Beijing, but now Modi government seems prepared to change course to deflate the Chinese cartographical and nomenclature aggression," The Diplomat quoted former Intelligence Bureau officer Benu Ghosh has been quoted as saying. 

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