China also has illegal custody of large swathes of land in “Aksai Chin” to the north, which is situated in the eastern-most part of J&K.
New Delhi: In a stinging rebuke to China dripping with sarcasm, India on Thursday said “renaming” or “inventing” names of areas in neighbouring countries does not make illegal occupation legal. India added that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India. The comment was made by the ministry of external affairs (MEA) in response to a question on China “standardising” official names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh. China has been coveting Arunachal Pradesh and refers to it as “south Tibet”. China also has illegal custody of large swathes of land in “Aksai Chin” to the north, which is situated in the eastern-most part of Jammu & Kashmir.
“Renaming or inventing names of towns of your neighbour do not make illegal territorial claims legal. If you rename, it doesn’t change the situation,” an MEA official said in a media briefing.
The Chinese move earlier on Wednesday had come after Beijing lodged strong protests with India over the Dalai Lama’s visit to the frontier state.
Interestingly, China — despite its displeasure — has invited India for a global conference on the “One Belt One Road” (OBOR) that will be held in Beijing next month. With China planning to invest billions in constructing railways, waterways and highways as part of its giant global initiative, New Delhi is evaluating whether it should join the crucial OBOR conference. Media reports from Beijing suggest a representative may be sent by New Delhi.
India has reservations on the much talked about China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) running through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) which is widely regarded as being part of or linked to the OBOR idea. New Delhi is wary, given that OBOR will certainly boost Chinese influence globally and not just in India’s immediate neighbourhood.