India renames Tibetan places in response to China’s territorial claims

India has responded strategically to China’s ongoing renaming of places in Arunachal Pradesh by planning to rename over two dozen places in Tibet.

| Updated: 14 June, 2024 4:35 pm IST
 India has responded strategically to China's ongoing renaming of places in Arunachal Pradesh by planning to rename over two dozen places in Tibet.
 India has responded strategically to China's ongoing renaming of places in Arunachal Pradesh by planning to rename over two dozen places in Tibet.

NEW DELHI: India has responded strategically to China’s ongoing renaming of places in Arunachal Pradesh by planning to rename over two dozen places in Tibet.

This move is aimed at countering China’s territorial assertions and reaffirming India’s historical and geographical claims.

China has been renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh for several years, claiming the region as “South Tibet” or “Zangnan”. In April 2024, China released its fourth list of standardised names for 30 locations in Arunachal Pradesh, including residential areas, mountains, rivers, and lakes, as part of its efforts to strengthen territorial claims.

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In retaliation, India is set to rename an equal number of places in Tibet. The Indian Army’s information warfare division has devised new names based on ancient Indian language records. This initiative, expected to be implemented soon, aims to challenge China’s narrative and assert India’s perspective on territorial sovereignty.

Diplomatically, India has consistently rejected China’s actions in Arunachal Pradesh. Former statements from the Ministry of External Affairs have reaffirmed that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India, dismissing China’s attempts to alter geographical realities through renaming.

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A list of more than 30 places in Tibet to be renamed, reclaiming their ancient names from historical records in Indian languages has been prepared. This list is expected to be released soon

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has labeled China’s claims on Arunachal Pradesh as “ludicrous”, emphasizing India’s steadfast position on the issue. He reiterated that such actions reflect China’s broader strategy of territorial expansion, against which India remains vigilant and prepared.

The renaming of places in Tibet is viewed as a proactive step by India to counter China’s unilateral actions and uphold its territorial integrity amidst ongoing border disputes.

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