(TibetanReview.net, Jan01’22) – China has on Dec 31 defended its renaming of 15 more places in India’s Tibet-border state of Arunachal Pradesh, claiming that the state is actually Zangnan (meaning southern Tibet), an “inherent part” of its territory. India and China became territorial neighbours only in the 1950s with the latter’s annexation of Tibet, which the former endorsed in a 1954 agreement with Beijing.
Zangnan is located in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and it has been China’s territory since ancient times, the tribuneindia.com Jan 1 cited Zhao Lijian, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, as saying.
Zhao’s response followed India’s strong rejection Dec 30 of China’s renaming of 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh.
Arunachal Pradesh has “always been” and will “always be” an integral part of India and that assigning “invented” names does not alter this fact, India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said.
“This is not the first time China has attempted such renaming of places in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. China had also sought to assign such names in Apr 2017,” Bagchi had said.
Zhao has asserted China’s right to manage, including renaming, places in India according to relevant Chinese laws. “For standardised management of the area, the competent authorities in China in accordance with relevant regulations have published the names for the relevant area. These are matters that are within China’s sovereignty,” he has said.
Zhao has called “Zangnan” “China’s territory since the ancient times.”
Earlier, on Apr 14, 2017, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs announced its renaming of two places and four mountains in the Indian state, calling them Wo’gyainling, Mainquka, Mila Ri, Qoidengarbo Ri, Bumo La and Namkapub Ri.
The names are pinyin Chinese renditions of the places’ actual names.