International Relations

Some locations in Arunachal Pradesh have ‘official’ names given by China

The Chinese government has revealed plans to “standardize” the names of 11 Arunachal Pradesh locations.

Clarification of the MEA

  • The Chinese “invention” has been rejected by the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • According to the MEA, Arunachal Pradesh has always been and will always be an integral component of India.

Why does China give names to locations in India?

  • China claims 90,000 square kilometres of Arunachal Pradesh as its land.
  • It refers to the region as “Zangnan” in Chinese and makes numerous references to “South Tibet.”
  • Arunachal Pradesh appears on Chinese charts and is sometimes referred to as “so-called Arunachal Pradesh.”
  • China makes repeated attempts to emphasise its unilateral claim to Indian territory.
  • Giving places in Arunachal Pradesh Chinese names is part of that endeavour.

Previously, unilateral name

  • This is China’s third batch of “standardized” names for locations in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It had previously given “official” Chinese names for six locations across Arunachal Pradesh earlier in 2017.

What is China’s justification for seizing these areas?

  • The PRC questions the legality of the McMahon Line, the official boundary established by the 1914 ‘Convention between Great Britain, China, and Tibet.’ (Simla Convention).
  • A plenipotentiary of the Republic of China, which had been proclaimed in 1912 after the Qing dynasty was overthrown, represented China at the Simla Convention.
  • The current communist government came to control only in 1949, with the proclamation of the People’s Republic.
  • The Chinese representative refused to sign the Simla Convention, claiming that Tibet lacked the autonomous authority to enter into international treaties.

What exactly is the McMohan Line?

  • The McMohan Line, named after Henry McMahon, the main British negotiator at Shimla, was drawn from Bhutan’s eastern border to the China-Myanmar border.
  • China claims land in Arunachal Pradesh to the south of the McMahon Line.
  • China also rests its claims on historical ties between the monasteries of Tawang and Lhasa.

The reasoning behind these renamings

  • This renaming is part of China’s plan to assert its claims to Indian territory.
  • As part of this strategy, whenever an Indian dignitary visits Arunachal Pradesh, China makes a statement of outrage.
  • Beijing continues to emphasise its “consistent” and “clear” stance that Arunachal Pradesh is an Indian possession.
  • These claims have been thoroughly established and recognised as “illegal” by the international community.

Arunachal Pradesh is not an island.

  • Making aggressive territorial claims based on supposed historical injustices against China is part of Beijing’s foreign policy playbook.
  • The Taiwan claim is one such example, as are the ongoing attempts to change the “facts on the ground” in several disputed South China Sea islands.
  • The aggression is always backed up, both openly and covertly, by the use of China’s economic and military power.
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