India on Thursday dismissed China’s act of giving its own names to six places in Arunachal Pradesh, saying “it doesn’t make illegally held territory legal”. “I can only say that if you rename or invent names for the towns of your neighbour, it doesn’t make illegally held territory legal,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in his weekly media briefing.
“Arunachal Pradesh has always been an integral part of India and it will continue to be so,” he said.
The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on April 14 on its website that it had standardised in Chinese characters, Tibetan and Roman alphabet names of six places in Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls “South Tibet”.
The six names are Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidêngarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bümo La and Namkapub Ri. The state-run Global Times, which reported the ministry’s move on Tuesday, did not say which six places in Arunachal Pradesh were being referred to.
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This came after the Dalai Lama’s week-long visit to Arunachal Pradesh earlier this month.
China’s Foreign Ministry criticised India for inviting the Tibetan spiritual leader to the northeastern state, an action which it said would “bring no benefits to India”.