India will pay “dearly” for allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh, Chinese media said on Friday, indicating that Beijing’s renaming of six places in the state was in retaliation to the Tibetan spiritual leader’s trip to northeast.
The fresh attack on India came days after Beijing announced through its controlled media that it was standardising names of six places in Arunachal Pradesh – which China claims as its territory -- in “pinyin” or the system of official romanisation of Chinese.
India has dismissed the renaming and asserted that “every inch” of the state belongs to the country.
“It is time for India to do some serious thinking over why China announced the standardised names in South Tibet at this time. Playing the Dalai Lama card is never a wise choice for New Delhi. If India wants to continue this petty game, it will only end up in paying dearly for it,’’ the nationalistic tabloid Global Times said on Friday.
Saying that China is a more powerful country than India, the article said if it came to measuring which country was “stronger”, then China need not sit on the negotiating table to settle the border problem between the two countries.
“India seems to have become trapped in its stubbornness to measure its strength with China. But territorial disputes cannot be settled by comparing which side is stronger or which country has more leverage. Otherwise, there is no need for Beijing to sit down with New Delhi at the negotiating table,” the newspaper said.
It also quoted Indian media coverage of Beijing’s announcement.
“Over the past two days, quite a few Indian media outlets, such as the Hindustan Times, described Beijing’s latest move as ‘revenge’ and ‘retaliation’ against India for hosting the 14th Dalai Lama in the disputed border region earlier this month,” the newspaper said quoting Indian media’s coverage of the announcement.
The reaction from India, it seems, was “absurd”.
It said “South Tibet is historically part of China and the name of the places there is part of the local ethnic culture. It is legitimate for the Chinese government to standardise the names of the places,’’ the newspaper said.
“Putting the Dalai Lama into its toolbox against China is another trick played by New Delhi lately. New Delhi would be too ingenuous to believe that the region belongs to India simply because the Dalai Lama says so,” it added.
The article, written by Ai Jun, said: “China has been making efforts to solve the territorial disputes with India, but over the past decades, India has not only increased migration to the disputed area and boosted its military construction there, but it also named ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ China’s South Tibet, as a formal state of India in 1987.”
Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday “every inch” of Arunachal Pradesh belongs to India and China has “no business” to name any Indian place.
The minister said that no foreign country has the right to rename any part of India.