The standardisation of official names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh shows that China is less likely to make “concessions” in the protracted border negotiations with India, a Chinese expert said today. An article in the Global Times, written by Long Xingchun, a research fellow at the Charhar Institute and director of the Center for Indian Studies at China West Normal University, noted that China announced earlier this month that it has “standardised” the names of six places in Arunachal Pradesh.
It quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang as saying at the time that the move was “legitimate and appropriate”. Indian media outlets believe the move is China’s “revenge” against the 14th Dalai Lama’s visit to the “disputed region” on the China-India border, said the article titled ‘New Delhi must avoid turning Sino-Indian ties into confrontation’. “The standardisation of names demonstrates China is less likely to make concessions in border negotiations with India,” Long’s article said.
Border disputes are core conflicts between Beijing and New Delhi, the article said. “Some radical Indians believe India’s military strength has seen rapid growth and are eager to triumph over China in potential armed clashes,” it said. “In fact, India had more advantages in 1962, and it should learn from its erroneous strategic judgements and carefully evaluate the current international situation,” said the article.
Both sides need to have more strategic communications to promote cooperation, maintain regional peace and stability, it said.
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“New Delhi has arranged the Dalai Lama to visit the disputed area several times, attempting to strengthen control over South Tibet (Arunachal Pradesh). Beijing, for the sake of friendly ties with New Delhi, only lodged diplomatic representations rather than taking retaliatory measures against India’s provocations,” it said.
The article stated that the Beijing-New Delhi relationship has encountered two “friction points” since 2016 — India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group bid and blocking of Jaish- e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar’s banning by the UN.
However, the article said the Chinese government attaches great importance to its relationship with India.
“Beijing wants to work together with New Delhi to keep the conflicts under control, stabilise the bilateral relations, enhance economic cooperation and encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in India. These are beneficial to Modi’s ‘Made in India’ ambition and the country’s economic development,” the article said.
Some Indian scholars understand China’s stance on the issues of NSG and Azhar, and believe that India is free to express its dissatisfaction but it was not necessary to deteriorate its relations with China, the article said.
“A few other Indian observers argue that the Modi government is utilising the two issues to instigate domestic nationalist sentiments so as to win more support in the next election,” it said.