China renames 15 places in Arunachal, MEA hits back, says won’t alter facts | India News

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday reacted strongly to China renaming 15 places inside Arunachal Pradesh. Acknowledging that the ministry of external affairs (MEA) had seen reports to this effect, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “This is not the first time China has attempted such renaming of places in Arunachal. It had also sought to assign such names in 2017.”
“Arunachal Pradesh,” he said, “has always been, will always be an integral part of India. Assigning invented names to places in Arunachal Pradesh does not alter this fact.”
China’s ministry of civil affairs issued a statement saying they have “standardised” names for 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh, to be used on Chinese maps. This is the second time China has renamed the places of Arunachal Pradesh.
On October 23, the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislative body, had passed a new law citing “protection and exploitation of the country’s land border areas”. The committee had stated that the new law will come into effect from January 1. The law is not meant specifically for the border with India. China shares its 22,457km land boundary with 14 countries, including India.
According to the Xinhua news agency, the law states “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of… China are sacred and inviolable”, and asks the state to “take measures to safeguard territorial integrity and land boundaries and guard against and combat any act that undermines these”.
While the Chinese have stated that their border law would not impact existing border arrangements, India has remained on edge about Beijing’s intentions.

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