(TibetanReview.net, Dec31’21) – India obviously did not know what it was signing up for when it agreed in a 1954 agreement to recognize Tibet as an autonomous region of China. In the latest development in the vicissitudes of disputes and violent conflicts between the two newly established neighbours since then, China said it had given its own name to 15 more places in Zangnan (or southern Tibet), referring to places in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. India rubbished the move, saying changing name won’t alter the fact while the country’s media saw it as a precursor to the coming into force on Jan 1 of Beijing’s enforcement of its recently enacted land border law.
“China standardizes names of 15 more places in Zangnan ‘based on sovereignty, history’,” read the headline of the news on the latest development carried by China’s official globaltimes.cn website Dec 30.
The report said China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs had announced that it had standardized in Chinese characters, Tibetan and Roman alphabet the names of 15 places in “Zangnan (the southern part of China’s Xizang),” in accordance with regulations on geographical names issued by the State Council, China’s cabinet.
The report said this was the second batch of standardized names of places in Zangnan given by the ministry since 2017.
The renamed places included residential areas, mountains, rivers and a mountain pass.
The report cited Lian Xiangmin, an expert with the China Tibetology Research Center in Beijing, as saying the renaming was part of a national effort to standardize the management of names of places that have existed for hundreds of years.
What is more, Lian has said, it is a legitimate move and China’s sovereign right to give them standardized names. He has added that more standardized place names in the region will be announced in the future.
“The right to name places in the region should belong to China,” the report also quoted Zhang Yongpan, a research fellow of the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as saying.
He has said standardizing names of places in Zangnan and the adoption of China’s first national law on the protection and exploitation of land border areas, were important moves made by his country to “safeguard national sovereignty, better maintain national security and manage border-related matters at the legal level amid regional tensions, including frictions with India.”
The report named the eight residential places in the second batch as Sêngkêzong and Daglungzong in Cona County of Shannan Prefecture, Mani’gang, Duding and Migpain in Medog County of Nyingchi, Goling, Damba in Zayu County of Nyingchi, and Mêjag in Lhunze County of Shannan Prefecture.
It named the four mountains are Wamo Ri, Dêu Ri, Lhünzhub Ri and Kunmingxingzê Feng.
It named the two rivers are Xênyogmo He and Dulain He, and the one mountain pass as Sê La, in Cona County.
The Chinese government has never recognized the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh,” as it’s called by India, the report said.
India has rubbished the latest Chinese move.
“Arunachal Pradesh has always been, will always be an integral part of India. Assigning invented names to places in Arunachal Pradesh does not alter this fact,” the timesofindia.com Dec 31 quoted its Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi as saying.