- To assert claim, China releases own names for 6 places in Arunachal
- China angry over India allowing Dalai Lama to visit border state
- "Every inch of Arunachal" belongs to India, China is rebutted
In protest against the Dalai Lama's visit to the border state earlier this month, China's civil affairs ministry has released a list of six places in the region with what Beijing considers to be their formal names, in Chinese, Tibetan and English. "To standardise these names and publicise them is a legitimate measure based on our lawful right," said a Chinese official today.
Delhi said yesterday that "every inch of Arunachal Pradesh" belongs to India. "Arunachal Pradesh is totally part and parcel of India. China has no business to name any of the districts," said Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu. He asked if someone's given name can be changed by a neighbour.
China warned India that the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader's tour of Arunachal would "severely damage" relations between the two countries. China considers the 81-year-old Dalai Lama a "dangerous separatist".
India said that his trip was to promote religious harmony and had no political connotation, while asserting that in any case, China has no right to interfere in India's internal affairs.
In 1959, the Dalai Lama was a young monk when he fled Tibet over threats to his life after a failed uprising and trekked through the Himalayas for nearly two weeks, arriving in India through Arunachal Pradesh. He was allowed to set up his government-in-exile in the hill town of Dharamsala.
While releasing the new names, a Chinese government official said, "These names also reflect, and explain from one aspect, that China's territorial claims on Southern Tibet have an obvious historical, cultural and administrative jurisdiction basis."