The Union government said on Tuesday that attempts to “assign invented names” will not change the reality of Arunachal Pradesh being a part of India. The statement came two days after China released a list of 11 places in the state that it had “renamed” as part of its attempts to lay claim over the region, according to The Hindu.

China lays territorial claims over a large portion of Arunachal Pradesh, claiming that it is “South Tibet”. However, India has rejected these claims.

On April 2, a notification issued by the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs said that it, along with relevant departments, has “standardised some geographical names in southern Tibet”.

The 11 places include five mountain peaks, two residential areas, two land areas, and two rivers. A town close to state capital Itanagar is among the places that Beijing says it has renamed.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday said it outrightly rejects China’s claims of having renamed the places. “This is not the first time China has made such an attempt,” the ministry’s spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said. “...Arunachal Pradesh is, has been, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. Attempts to assign invented names will not alter this reality.”

This is the third such list released by China which attempts to rename places by giving them standardised geographical names, in Chinese, Tibetan and Pinyin characters.

Beijing had released the first such list of six places in 2017 after Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama had visited Arunachal Pradesh. It released the second list of 15 places in December 2021. In 2021, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that “invented names” did not change the fact that the state has been and always will be an integral part of India.

The development comes amid a border standoff between Indian and Chinese troops that began after the two sides clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China had put the number of casualties on its side at four.

In December, Indian and Chinese troops had clashed in the Yangtse area of Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh. Chinese soldiers attempted to “unilaterally change the status quo” by transgressing the Line of Actual Control in Tawang sector on December 9, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had told Parliament.