China Renames 15 Places in Arunachal; MEA Says State India’s Integral Part & Changing Names Won’t Alter It

China has announced Chinese characters, Tibetan and Roman alphabet names for 15 more places in India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as South Tibet. China's Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on Wednesday that it had standardised in Chinese characters, Tibetan and Roman alphabet the names of 15 places in Zangnan, the Chinese name for Arunachal Pradesh, state-run Global Times reported on Thursday.

Following the development, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a statement saying, “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.” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi added that 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,” he said.

Global Times said that China’s renaming decision is in accordance with regulations on geographical names issued by the State Council, China’s cabinet. Among the official names of the 15 places, which were given exact longitude and latitude, eight are residential places, four are mountains, two are rivers and one is a mountain pass, the report said.

This is the second batch of standardised names of places in Arunachal Pradesh given by China. The first batch of the standardised names of six places was released in 2017. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet which is firmly rejected by the External Affairs Ministry which says the state is an inseparable part of India".

Beijing routinely protests visits of top Indian leaders and officials to Arunachal Pradesh to reaffirm its claim. The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The eight residential places in the second batch are Sngkezong and Daglungzong in Cona County of Shannan Prefecture, Mani'gang, Duding and Migpain in Medog County of Nyingchi, Goling, Damba in Zayu County of Nyingchi, and Mejag in Lhunze County of Shannan Prefecture, the Global Times report said. The four mountains are Wamo Ri, Du Ri, Lhnzhub Ri and Kunmingxingz Feng, it said.

The two rivers are Xenyogmo He and Dulain He, and the mountain pass is named Se La, in Cona County. The report quoted Lian Xiangmin, stated to be an expert with the China Tibetology Research Centre in Beijing, claiming that the announcement is part of the national survey on place names that have existed for hundreds of years. It is a legitimate move and China's sovereignty to give them standardised names. More standardised place names in the region will be announced in the future, Lian said. 



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