Beijing [China], April 5: After India outrightly rejected China’s attempt to rename places of Arunachal Pradesh, Beijing on Tuesday claimed its “sovereignty” over the region.
In a regular press conference, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said, “Zangnan (Arunachal Pradesh) is part of China’s territory. In accordance with relevant stipulations of the administration of geographical names of the State Council, competent authorities of the Chinese government have standardised the names of some parts of Zangnan. This is within China’s sovereign rights.”
Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Tuesday asserted that Arunachal Pradesh will always be an integral part of India.
Bagchi issued the statement after China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs came up with the names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh, which it referred to as “Zangnan, the southern part of Tibet.”
In response to media queries regarding China renaming some places in Arunachal Pradesh, Arindam Bagchi in a statement said, “We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has made such an attempt. We reject this outright.”
He further 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.”
Meanwhile, United States “strongly oppose” China’s attempts to advance a claim over Indian territory, Arunachal Pradesh by renaming localities, the White House said on Tuesday.
“This is another attempt by the Chinese claim on us, Indian territory. So the United States, as you know, has recognised that territory for a long time and we strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance a territory claim by renaming localities. And so, again, this is something that we have long stood by a few things,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
China released names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh in Chinese characters, Tibetan and pinyin according to the rules on geographical names issued by the State Council, China’s cabinet.
The ministry announced the names of 11 places on Sunday and also gave precise coordinates, including two residential areas, five mountain peaks, two rivers and two other areas. China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs also listed the category of places’ names and their subordinate administrative districts, as per the news report.
According to the Global Times report, this is the third batch of geographical names announced by the ministry in Arunachal Pradesh. As per the news report, the first batch of the standardized names of six places was issued in 2017, and the second batch of 15 places was released in 2021.
In December, last year, the Union government said it has seen reports of China attempting to rename some places in Arunachal Pradesh “in its own language” and asserted that the border state has been and will always be an integral part of India.”
In response to a media query on reports that China has renamed some places in Arunachal Pradesh in its own language, Bagchi said China had also sought to assign such names in April 2017.
“We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has attempted such a renaming of places in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. China had also sought to assign such names in April 2017,” Bagchi said.
“Arunachal Pradesh has always been, and will always be an integral part of India. Assigning invented names to places in Arunachal Pradesh does not alter this fact,” he added.