China renames 30 places in Arunachal Pradesh in 4th such list | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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China renames 30 places in Arunachal Pradesh in 4th such list

Apr 01, 2024 11:44 AM IST

This is the fourth time China has unilaterally renamed places in Arunachal Pradesh, having done it in 2017, 2021 and 2023.

In what is seen as a bid to assert its claim on Arunachal Pradesh, China has renamed 30 places along the line of actual control (LAC) in India's northeastern state. The Chinese ministry of civil affairs, responsible for the establishment and naming of administrative divisions, released the fourth list of “standardised” geographical names in Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing calls Zangnan, according to a Hong Kong-based daily.

Indian soldiers tracking the movement of troops across the Line of Actual Control in China.
Indian soldiers tracking the movement of troops across the Line of Actual Control in China.

The list of places renamed by China includes 11 residential areas, 12 mountains, four rivers, one lake, one mountain pass and a piece of land. The names have Chinese characters, Tibetan and pinyin, the Roman alphabet version of Mandarin Chinese.

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The ministry also included detailed latitude and longitude and a high-resolution map.

“In accordance with the relevant provisions of the State Council [China’s cabinet] on the management of geographical names, we in conjunction with the relevant departments have standardised some of the geographical names in Zangnan of China,” South China Morning Post quoted the ministry as saying.

Beijing released the first list of the so-called standardised names of six places in Arunachal Pradesh in 2017, the second list of 15 places in 2021 followed by another list with names for 11 places in 2023.

India has repeatedly rejected China's move to rename places in Arunachal Pradesh, asserting that the state is an integral part of the country and assigning "invented" names does not alter this reality.

In 2023, then external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: “We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has made such an attempt. We reject this outright.”

He added, “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.”

The recent statements by China to reassert its claims over the state started with Beijing lodging a diplomatic protest with India over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, where he dedicated to the nation the Sela Tunnel built at an altitude of 13,000 feet in Arunachal Pradesh.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar on March 23 dismissed China's repeated claims on Arunachal Pradesh as "ludicrous" and that the frontier state was a "natural part of India".

"This is not a new issue. I mean, China has laid claim, it has expanded its claim. The claims are ludicrous to begin with and remain ludicrous today," he said in response to a question on the Arunachal issue after delivering a lecture at the prestigious Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

"So, I think we've been very clear, very consistent on this. And I think you know that is something which will be part of the boundary discussions which are taking place," he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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