This is not the first time China has tried to interfere in India’s internal matters, previously the Asian giants released a similar list in 2017 and 2021, which attempts to say parts of India as its territory. China renamed 11 places in Arunachal and calls it ‘Southern Tibet’.
In a recent development, China had come up with a new set of names for 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh and referred to those places as “Zangnaan, which is the Southern part of Tibet”. This is not the only time China has tried to interfere in India’s internal matters, previously the Asian giants released a similar list in 2017 and 2021, which attempts to say parts of India as its territory.
This move by Beijing comes at a time when the two Asian giants are in the middle of their worst bilateral relations in years. Many believe this move will further increase mistrust between the two countries. The name change includes some of the rivers, residential areas, and mountain peaks, this is the third time China has renamed places in Arunachal Pradesh solely.
The Civil Affairs Department of China released the changed names in three languages Chinese, Tibetan, and Pinyin following regulations on geographical names issued by the cabinet of China. India had previously dismissed the move of China to rename places in its East, saying that the state of Arunachal has always been and will always be an integral part of India, and changing names by China doesn’t change this fact.
The Global Times quoted Chinese experts as saying that the announcement of names is a fair move and that the government of China has the right to standardize geographical names. The Indian External Affairs Ministry responded by saying assigning invented names to places in Arunachal does not change the fact that the state comes under India’s boundaries. Previously also New Delhi rejected the renaming by China in parts of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Chinese media and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences supported the move and says changing the name of those places falls within China’s sovereignty. Lian Xiangmin, an expert told the media that more changes of names in Arunachal will be announced by the Chinese government in near future.
The first set of name changes in 2017 came after the Tibetan monk Dalai Lama visited Arunachal Pradesh. China at that time strongly objected to Dalai Lama’s visit to the eastern state of India.
The Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet through Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and sought shelter from India as a refuge in 1959 after China took military control of the Himalayan region in 1950.
China’s Renaming comes ahead of the Chinese Defence Minister’s visit?
The move to rename places in Arunachal comes days ahead of China’s newly appointed Defence Minister General Li Shangfu’s visit to New Delhi. The newly appointed Defence Minister is expected to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation ( SCO) meetings of the Defence Minister which are scheduled to be held later this month.
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang will also take part in the SCO meeting of Foreign Ministers in May. India currently is the President of the SCO group. Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit India for SCO Summit later this summer
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