The United States opposes unilateral attempts to territorial claims, the White House said on Wednesday, after China released a list renaming 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh.

On April 2, a notification issued by the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs said that it has “standardised geographical names” of 11 places in the state, including five mountain peaks and a town close to the state capital Itanagar.

China lays territorial claims over a large portion of Arunachal Pradesh, and refers to the state as “South Tibet”. However, India has rejected these claims.

The United States has recognised Arunachal Pradesh as part of India for a long time, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday. “And we strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by renaming localities,” she said. “And so, again, this is something that we have long stood by.”

India had responded to the development on Tuesday by rejecting China’s claims of having renamed the places. The foreign ministry had said that Beijing’s attempts to “assign invented names” will not change the reality of Arunachal Pradesh being a part of India.

Beijing’s actions came 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 the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh. Chinese soldiers attempted to “unilaterally change the status quo” by transgressing the Line of Actual Control in the Tawang sector on December 9, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had told Parliament.