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Checks-and-balances: The US slams China’s claims on Arunachal Pradesh

Checks-and-balances: The US slams China’s claims on Arunachal Pradesh

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Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: The United States on Tuesday slammed China’s so-called list of 30 new names for places in India’s Arunachal Pradesh as yet another “unilateral attempt” by the Dragon to reassert its territorial claims.

This follows New Delhi’s strong response to Beijing’s recent announcement of “Chinese names” for places in Arunachal Pradesh state which the neighboring country claims as the southern part of Tibet.

“The United States strongly opposes any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by incursions or encroachments, military or civilian, across the Line of Actual Control,” a US State Department representative was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Tuesday.

This latest remark is in line with the State Department’s response last month when it reiterated the country’s stance, recognizing Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory.

On Monday, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar curtly remarked: “Mai apke ghar ka naam badal dun to woh mera ghar ban jayega kya? (If I rename your house today, will it become mine?)” And that “changing names does not mean anything.

On Tuesday, India outrightly rejected as “senseless” China renaming some places in Arunachal Pradesh and asserted that assigning “invented” names does not alter the reality that the state “is, has been, and will always be” an integral part of India.

“China has persisted with its senseless attempts to rename places in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. We firmly reject such attempts,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said.

“Assigning invented names will not alter the reality that Arunachal Pradesh is, has been, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India,” the MEA spokesperson said.

The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs, as part of its ancient tactic called “cartographic diplomacy” and the policy of “salami slicing,” released the “fourth list” of standardized geographical names in Zangnan, the Chinese name for Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as part of south Tibet, state-run Global Times reported on Sunday.

In April last year too, India reacted sharply when Beijing released the third list of standardized names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh.
The first batch of the standardized names of six places in Arunachal Pradesh was released in 2017 and the second batch of 15 places in 2021.

On March 28, India said Beijing may “repeat its baseless claims” over Arunachal Pradesh as many times as it wants but that is not going to change New Delhi’s position that the state “was, is and will always remain” an integral and inalienable part of the country.


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