India to rename 30 locations in Tibet amid tensions with China over Arunachal Pradesh

The renaming list comprises 11 residential areas, 12 mountains, four rivers, one lake, one mountain pass, and a parcel of land.

In a move to counter China’s renaming of locations in Arunachal Pradesh, India has embarked on a reciprocal naming strategy. The plan, as reported by the Diplomat, is for New Delhi to rename approximately 30 places in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.

The recently elected NDA government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given the green light to rename 30 locations in Tibet. This move is seen as a robust response to China’s aggressive renaming practices. The new names, which are based on historical research and ties to the Tibet region, will be officially recognized by the Indian Army and reflected on their maps along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The renaming list comprises 11 residential areas, 12 mountains, four rivers, one lake, one mountain pass, and a parcel of land. The names will be presented in Chinese characters, Tibetan, and pinyin. Since 2017, China has been releasing lists of standardized names for places in Arunachal Pradesh, with the most recent list containing almost as many new names as the previous three lists combined.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Benu Ghosh, a former Intelligence Bureau officer quoted in the Diplomat, suggests that “”PM Modi sought to win these polls on the strength of his strongman image. It is natural he will authorise the renaming of Tibetan places to live up to that image.” Ghosh, who has been tracking China’s border issues with India for many years, believes that this renaming campaign could lead to India revisiting the Tibetan question.

According to Ghosh, India has recognised Tibet as part of China since Beijing’s forceful occupation. However, the Modi government appears ready to shift its stance to counter China’s cartographical and nomenclature aggression.

Tensions in India-China Relations

India-China relations have been tense, barring trade, since the eastern Ladakh border standoff that started on May 5, 2020, after a violent clash in the Pangong Tso area. So far, 21 rounds of military talks have been held to resolve the standoff. In PM Modi’s third term, India seeks to assert its territorial claims by assigning its own names to locations in occupied Tibet.

Despite China’s repeated assertions, India has steadfastly maintained that Arunachal Pradesh is an inseparable and integral part of the country. The Ministry of External Affairs has stated that assigning “invented” names does not alter this fact. India’s firm response comes in the wake of global criticism of China’s expansionist policies in areas like the South China Sea.

On June 11, S Jaishankar, taking office as Minister of External Affairs for the second time, reiterated India’s firm stance on issues related to China and Pakistan. He stressed that India will decisively address both border issues and cross-border terrorism.

He stated, “The relationships and challenges with Pakistan and China are distinct. Our focus with China will be on resolving border issues, and with Pakistan, we aim to address the longstanding issue of cross-border terrorism.”

India has consistently dismissed China’s attempts to rename places in Arunachal Pradesh, asserting that the state is an integral part of the country and that assigning “invented” names does not alter this fact.

You might also be interested in – China opposes US arms sales to Taiwan, calls for immediate withdrawal

Dr. Shubhangi Jha

Avid reader, infrequent writer, evolving

Related Articles

Back to top button