India rejects China renaming 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh; calls them ‘invented names’

In the latest in a series of diplomatic rows, India has rejected China renaming 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh and asserted that the state has "been" and will "always be" an integral part of India.

New Delhi issued a statement and said that China was inventing names which would not alter reality.
New Delhi issued a statement and said that China was inventing names which would not alter reality. Photo courtesy: Flickr/BOMBMAN

China had yesterday announced a set of new names for 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh as part of its efforts to reemphasise its claim over the state. This is the third time that China has 'renamed' places in Arunachal Pradesh, which it calls "Zangnan, the southern part of Tibet".

China's Ministry of Civil Affairs yesterday released the names in Chinese, Tibetan, and pinyin characters in what it claims was in accordance with regulations on geographical names issued by the State Council, China's cabinet.

The list of names released by China includes five mountain peaks, two land areas, two residential areas, and two rivers.

The first two such lists were released in 2018 and 2021. China issued a list of six names in 2017, while in 2021 it 'renamed' 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh.  

New Delhi issued a statement and said that China was inventing names which would not alter reality.

"We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has made such an attempt. We reject this outright.." External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

"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." 

According to The Global Times, which is part of the ruling Communist Party's mouthpiece People's Daily group of publications in China, the Chinese authorities are calling this move 'standardised geographical names'.

India and Chinese troops had clashed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the state's Tawang sector last December, in a face-off that came amid a months-long border standoff in eastern Ladakh.

In sharp contrast, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning stated that India, Russia and China are emerging "major powers" with notable influence and Beijing was ready to boost ties with Moscow and New Delhi during a press conference.

Responding to TASS Agency's question about Russia's new foreign policy concept, Mao said, "China, Russia and India are all major emerging major countries with notable influence. As the international and regional landscape is facing profound and complex changes, we are ready to strengthen communication with the international community including Russia and India and send a positive signal to the world about defending true multilateralism and jointly responding to global challenges," according to the Spokesperson of Chinese Embassy in India, Wang Xiaojian's tweet.

She further added, "China and Russia are dedicated to growing a new type of major-country relations featuring mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation. The bilateral relationship does not target and is not affected by any third party. Last month, President Xi Jinping paid a successful state visit to Russia. The two heads of state drew a blueprint for the future course of China-Russia relations. The two sides are comprehensively following through on the important common understandings between the two leaders."

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the new Foreign Policy Concept last week, which said strengthening and deepening relations with China and India is a diplomatic priority for Russia.

The 42-page document singled out ties with China and India, stressing the importance of "the deepening of ties and coordination with friendly sovereign global centres of power and development located on the Eurasian continent."

India and Russia maintained a close strategic, military, economic, and diplomatic interaction during the Cold War. 

According to the document, Russia will continue to build a particularly privileged strategic partnership with India with a view to enhancing and expanding cooperation in all areas on a mutually beneficial basis and place special emphasis on increasing the volume of bilateral trade, strengthening investment and technological ties, and ensuring their resistance to destructive actions of unfriendly states and their alliances.