MEA asserted Arunachal Pradesh has always been, and will always be an integral part of India and slammed China for giving Chinese names to 15 places of Arunachal Pradesh.
New Delhi: India has sought to dismiss China's efforts to build up a media narrative just on the eve of the New Year.
"This is not the first time China has attempted such a renaming of places in the state of Arunachal Pradesh," MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in response to a media query on reports that China has renamed some places in Arunachal Pradesh.
He said: "We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has attempted such a renaming of places in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. China had also sought to assign such names in April 2017."
He asserted in a rather crystal clear language, "Arunachal Pradesh has always been, and will always be an integral part of India. Assigning invented names to places in Arunachal Pradesh does not alter this fact."
China on Wednesday announced 'Chinese characters, Tibetan and Roman alphabet names' for 15 more places in Arunachal Pradesh.
China's Ministry of Civil Affairs made the announcement. The assertive response from MEA is significant.
There is a given perception in diplomacy that China respects strength and it does not worry much about 'good manners', 'humility', etc.
In 2017, India had taken a tough posture during Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama's Arunachal Pradesh visit. This was seen as a "rare display of firmness and sovereign rights by the Indian government with regards to China. I find it refreshing and overdue. My only consideration is that this assertiveness should sustain," said former Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh.
The tensions between India and China continue, and the two sides have often been found sparring over a series of issues.
On October 23 this year, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the key legislative body, passed a new law citing "protection and exploitation of the country's land border areas". The law, however, is not meant specifically for the border with India. Mongolia, Russia and other countries share borders with China as well. China shares its 22,457 km land boundary with 14 countries, including India, the third-longest after the borders with Mongolia and Russia.