BEIJING/NEW DELHI, Apr 19 (INP) In a tough message to India, China has renamed six places in Arunachal Pradesh in standard Chinese in what appears to be the first sign of retaliation against Dalai Lama’s visit to the area earlier this month.
The names were changed to show to India the “sovereignty” of the region, said the Chinese state media, which on several occasions warned India of consequences for allowing the Tibetan spiritual leader to visit the “disputed area”.
“China has standardised the names of six places in South Tibet, a region that is part of China’s territory but in which some areas are currently controlled by India,” a state media report said on Tuesday.
Beijing claims large parts of the Northeaster state as South Tibet, with close Buddhist links to the Tibet Autonomous Region and calls the Dharamsala-based Dalai Lama a separatist out to carve an independent Tibet within Chinese mainland.
Official Chinese maps show the state as part of south Tibet. “The official names of the six places using the Roman alphabet are Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidêngarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bümo La and Namkapub Ri,” the report said.
The changes were implemented on April 13, a day after the Dalai Lama ended his nine-day tour of Arunachal. Changing the names could be an indication of China hardening its stand and claims on Arunchal Pradesh, especially Tawang.
The ministry of civil affairs announced on April 13 on its website it had standardised in Chinese characters, Tibetan and Roman alphabet the names of six places in “South Tibet”, “which India calls ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ ”, according to the regulations of the state council on place names, the Global Times, tabloid, said in a report.