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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

Himanta Biswa Sarma suggests tit-for-tat response to China's renaming of places in Arunachal Pradesh

'My request to the Government of India that we should give 60 geographical names to the Tibetan area of China. It should be always tit-for tat but I don’t want to comment because it is a policy decision of the government of India. But if they have named 30, we should name 60'

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 03.04.24, 09:57 AM
Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Himanta Biswa Sarma. File picture

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday mooted a tit-for-tat response to China’s policy of naming places in Arunachal Pradesh, a state the neighbouring country claims to be an extension of South Tibet.

Sarma at an election rally in Diphu said: “My request to the Government of India that we should give 60 geographical names to the Tibetan area of China. It should be always tit-for tat but I don’t want to comment because it is a policy decision of the government of India. But if they have named 30, we should name 60.”

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China had on Saturday released the standardised geographical names of about 30 places in Arunachal Pradesh “in accordance with the relevant regulations on place name management of the State Council”.

China had named 32 places in Arunachal Pradesh in the past — six in 2017, 15 in 2021 and 11 in 2023.

The renaming exercise is seen as an attempt by China to re-emphasise its claim on the frontier state, referred to as Zangnan in Chinese.

India has repeatedly dismissed China’s claim over Arunachal with the Centre asserting the frontier state to be an integral part of India. The MEA on Tuesday too asserted assigning “invented” names will not alter the reality about Arunachal Pradesh always being an “integral and inalienable part of India”.

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu took to X to condemn China’s act of renaming places. “Another gimmick from China. Being a proud citizen of Bharat and a native of Arunachal Pradesh, I strongly condemn this act of naming of places within Arunachal Pradesh which has been an inalienable integral part of India. Proud citizens and patriots of Arunachal Pradesh is rejecting such antics,” Khandu said.

Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1,129-km border with China.

In response to media queries on renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh by China, the MEA official spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal said: “China has persisted with its senseless attempts to rename places in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. We firmly reject such attempts. Assigning invented names will not alter the reality that Arunachal Pradesh is, has been, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India.”

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