China changes Arunachal maps to show it as South Tibet

21 April 2017

China, which is at its old game of provoking neighbours in retaliation of the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, has changed its official map with some old maps to show Arunachal as southern Tibet.

Union information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu responded by saying that China's provocative acts would not have any effect on India, rather it would affect India's ties with China.

China's move is an apparent retaliation against the Dalai Lama's visit last week to India's easternmost state, which Beijing disputes as part of its territory. It started calling six Indian cities in Arunachal Pradesh by new Chinese names (See: After Dalai row, China gives "official" Chinese names to 6 areas in Arunachal

No foreign government in its senses tries to rename Indian cities, Naidu said responding to the Chinese action of unilaterally changing the names of six places in Arunachal Pradesh.

''Every inch of Arunachal Pradesh belongs to India ... let them rename. How does it matter? It's like you renaming your neighbour. It does not change his name,'' Naidu said in a tit-for-tat response to Beijing's symbolic snub.

Commentators say, China's renaming places in Arunachal is part of an old ploy to delegitimise adversaries and India knows China's intentions well.

They add, Over the years, due to constant bullying by China, India has learnt to live with such threats and is in fact has hardened its stand against provocative Chinese actions. Any extension of such threats would badly affect bilateral relations between the two Asian giants whose bilateral trade alone comes to around $66 billion – India accounting for a major share of it as imports from China.

The two countries also has a long-running border dispute and fought a brief war in 1962.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay reaffirmed that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.

China, on the other hand is occupying vast tracks in the Himalayan region forcibly taken during the India-China war during the Nehru Era.

''Renaming or inventing names of states of your neighbour do not make illegal occupation as legal,'' he said.

Asked if India has taken up the matter with China, he said the Chinese government has not communicated anything officially so far and the ministry has seen only reports on the development.

China announced on Tuesday that it has standardised official names for six places in the northeastern state and termed the move as ''legitimate action''.

Beijing had lodged protests with India over the Dalai Lama's visit to the frontier state.

India, however, is strengthening defences along China border, especially in Arunachal Pradesh, even as Chinese media warned India of serious consequences over Dalai Lama's Arunachal visit.

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