China ‘standardises’ names for six places in Arunachal

 BEIJING, April 19 – China today announced that it has “standardised” official names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh and termed the provocative move as “legitimate,” days after it lodged strong protests with India over the Dalai Lama’s visit to the frontier State.

The state media here said the move was aimed at reaffirming China’s claim over Arunachal Pradesh. China claims the State as ‘South Tibet.’

“China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on April 14 that it had standardised in Chinese characters, Tibetan and Roman alphabet the names of six places in ‘South Tibet,’ which India calls ‘Arunachal Pradesh’, in accordance with the regulations of the central government,” state-run Global Times reported today.

The official names of the six places using the Roman alphabet are Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidengarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bumo La and Namkapub Ri.

The standardisation of Chinese names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh is a “legitimate” action, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a briefing.

The Dalai Lama’s activities are against the Indian government’s commitment to China, he said.

Asked about the timing of the announcement, he said China is now doing a second census of names of localities and an important part of it is to standardise names in the ethnic language.

The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). While China claims Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet, India asserts that the dispute covers the Aksai Chin area which was occupied by China during the 1962 war.

The two sides have so far held 19 rounds of Special Representatives talks to resolve the boundary dispute.

China’s move comes just days after the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which was seventh since the 81-year-old spiritual leader fled from Tibet through Tawang and sought refuge in India.

During the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal Pradesh visit, China had warned India that it would take “necessary measures” to defend its territorial sovereignty and interests.

Commenting on the standardisation of the names of six places, Chinese experts said that it was a move to “reaffirm the country’s territorial sovereignty to the disputed region,” according to the daily. – PTI

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