- China's latest move to change the name comes a few days before the new Chinese Defense Minister, General Li Shangfu, is supposed to go to India.
- China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang will also be at the SCO Foreign Ministers' meeting in May.
Beijing has changed the names of 11 places it claims are in South Tibet in the north-eastern area that borders the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. This is part of its effort to assert its claim over Arunachal Pradesh.
On Sunday, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs released a third list of names for 11 places in the state, which it calls “Zangnan, the southern part of Tibet,” according to the state-run Global Times.
In 2017, six places were announced, and in 2021, 15 more places were announced.
The names are standardised in Chinese, Tibetan, and Pinyin characters. This is in line with the rules that China’s cabinet, the State Council, put out about geographical names.
The list has the exact coordinates for two land areas, two residential areas, five mountain peaks, two rivers, and their subordinate administrative districts, a news outlet said.
These are the 11 places that have been renamed
Beijing has also released a map that shows parts of Arunachal Pradesh inside southern Tibet, including a town near the state capital, Itanagar.
Chinese experts were quoted in the Global Times as saying that announcing the names is a legal step and that China has the right to standardize geographical names.
The latest move is likely to get a strong response from New Delhi, which has always said that has “always been” and will “always be” an important part of India and that giving it “made-up” names doesn’t change this fact.
Renaming ahead of defence minister’s visit
China’s latest move to change the name comes a few days before the new Chinese Defense Minister, General Li Shangfu, is supposed to go to India.
He is likely to go to the meetings of the SCO Defense Ministers this month. China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang will also be at the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in May. India is in charge of the group right now, but Qin Gang will also be there.
Also, it is likely that Chinese President Xi Jinping will go to India in July for the SCO summit.