Beijing [China], Apr. 19 (ANI): Beijing has asserted that the move to "standardise" official names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh was legitimate as these names reflect China's "territorial claim".
The official names of the six places using the Roman alphabet are Wo'gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidengarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bumo La and Namkapub Ri, state-run Global Times reported
"China holds a consistent and clear position on the eastern section of the China-India boundary. The competent authorities in charge of managing China's geographical names were exercising their lawful rights in publicly releasing these names in accordance with Regulations on the Management of Geographical Names and relevant regulations of the State Council," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said in a statement.
Asserting that the move is legitimate and appropriate, Kang further stated that these names are passed down by ethnic minority groups who have long been living and working in the region, and they have been calling these places as such for generations.
"These names reflect from another angle that China's territorial claim over South Tibet is supported by clear evidence in terms of history, culture and administration," the statement added.
When asked why it took China so long to standardise the names and if the major development was in retaliation to the Dalai Lama's recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh, Kang said, China chose this time to announce the standardisation as it was now doing a second census of names of localities and an important part of it was to standardise names in ethnic languages.
"In the next step, we will also step up our study of those names in Tibetan ethnic languages and in the next step we will announce more standardisation of these names," he added.
The Dalai Lama's recent visit to Arunachal had already strained ties between India and Beijing and this step by China is bound to further sever ties between the two nations. (ANI)