By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, April 21: India has hit back at China for naming places in Arunachal Pradesh, saying invented names don’t make illegal claims legal.
Renaming or inventing names for towns of neighbors does not make Beijing’s territorial claims legal, New Delhi said in its response after China had announced its own names for 6 places in Arunachal Pradesh, reports ndtv.com.
“Assigning invented names to towns of your neighbour does not make illegal territorial claims legal. Arunachal Pradesh is, and will always be an integral part of India,” the report quoted External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay as saying.
China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on April 13 on its website that it has standardized in Chinese characters, Tibetan and roman alphabets the names of six places in the Arunachal Pradesh which do not have official Chinese names earlier.
Though it lacks clarity as of which places in Arunachal Pradesh the names refer to, the names China announced are Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidêngarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bümo La and Namkapub Ri.
The Chinese state media has indicated today that the renaming of six places in Arunachal was in retaliation to the Tibetan spiritual leader’s trip to India’s Northeast region.
Following the Tibetan spiritual leader’s nine-day visit to the region, China lodged a diplomatic protest and accused India of violating its commitments on Tibet and the border dispute. China further warned India that the visit would have negative repercussion on resolving the territorial disputes through negotiations.
On Apr 17, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang said the Tibetan spiritual leader’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh had a negative impact on India-China ties and warned India not to use the Tibetan spiritual leader to undermine their interests.
The McMahon Line demarcation is the current effective boundary between China and India after the Chinese occupation of Tibet. It is a demarcation line drawn on the map referred to in the Shimla Accord, a treaty signed between Britain and Tibet in 1914. China calls the Shimla Accord a treaty that was never validated and has laid claim to around 90,000 square kilometers of Arunachal Pradesh as its own territory, which India resolutely rejects.