Days after Beijing lodged protests with India over the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs has announced “standardised” official names for six places in the North Eastern state, reported China’s state-run Global Times. China claims the frontier state, “which India calls Arunachal Pradesh”, as South Tibet.
The standardised names have been announced in Chinese characters, Tibetan and Roman alphabet. In the Roman alphabet, these places have been called: Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidêngarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bümo La and Namkapub Ri.
A professor at Minzu University of China, Xiong Kunxin told the Global Times that the step has been taken to “reaffirm China’s territorial sovereignty to South Tibet”. These names have never been standardised even though they have been existing since ancient times, research fellow at Tibet Academy of Social Sciences, Gua Kefan, told the state-run daily.
India and China have so far held 19 rounds of talks to resolve the territorial dispute. According to the Global Times, the South Tibet region lies along China’s southwestern border and India’s north-eastern border. The report also claimed that in 1987, India had “abruptly announced” that it was designating the region as Arunachal Pradesh. However, the Chinese government has never recognised the region as Arunachal Pradesh, the report added.
The Dalai Lama was in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang region between April 4 and April 10. On Monday, China had said the Dalai Lama’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh had harmed bilateral relations between the two countries and warned India against using the Tibetan spiritual leader to undermine Beijing’s interests.
Beijing considers Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet and believes that the 14th Dalai Lama is a separatist who is trying to carve out an independent state. India, on the other hand, has disputed such claims.