(TibetanReview.net, Apr06’23) – China’s latest claim to Arunachal Pradesh by releasing a list of “standardised geographical names” for 11 places in the frontier state turns out to be a random naming of isolated forest tracts, nondescript peaks, non-existent rivers and town areas superficially bound together as part of Cona, Zayu and Medog counties in Nyingchi prefecture of Tibet, reported the timesofindia.com Apr 6.
For instance, the coordinates of two rivers named by the Chinese as “Qiburi He” and “Geduo He” weren’t provided, with the civil affairs ministry simply claiming these were “specific locations”, the report noted.
Likewise, “Bangqin” referred to a “piece of land” in a forested mountainous area beyond Zemithang, India’s last village in Tawang district, close to the imagined McMahon Line that demarcates the border, the report said.
Official sources in India have dismissed China’s naming exercise as “mere mischief” carried out ahead of the Cope India IAF-US Air Force air combat exercise at Bengal’s Kalaikunda airbase from Apr 10 to 21.
China’s ministry of civil affairs had released the list on Apr 2, using both Tibetan and Chinese pinyin.
It described the list, the third of its kind, as an “addition of publicly used place names in southern Tibet” along with categories, administrative districts and select coordinates.
One entry in the Chinese list is a settlement named “Jiangkazong”, whose coordinates lead to a house mapped to Tawang town, west of the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya there, the report said.
It also said the given coordinates of another so-called settlement, “Dadong”, point to a large open space marked in Google Maps as being part of Tato town of Arunachal’s West Siang district.
Another “piece of land” named by the Chinese as “Guyutong” turns out to be a forest clearing near the western bank of Lohit river, north of Kibithoo in Anjaw district in eastern Arunachal. The coordinates given for “Luosu Ri”, “Diepu Ri”, “Dongzila Feng”, “Nimagang Feng” and “Jiuniuze Gangri” reveal mountain tops spread across various locations in the northeastern state, the report added.