“China’s position on the eastern section of the India- China boundary is clear and consistent,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a media briefing in Beijing.
China again asserted that it was its “lawful right” to standardise official names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh
“Relevant names have been used by ethnic Momba and Tibetan Chinese who have lived here for generations. So it is a fact that cannot be changed. To standardise these names and publicise them is a legitimate measure based on our lawful right,” he said.
Lu also countered India’s charge that China was inventing names to make its territorial claims over the area legal.
On Thursday, India had hit out at China for giving Chinese names to those six places, saying assigning invented names to towns of the neighbour does not make illegal territorial claims legal.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay in New Delhi had also asserted that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.
China’s move to rename places in Arunachal came just days after Beijing lodged strong protests with India over the Dalai Lama’s visit to the state.
China’s move came just days after the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh. This was the Dalai Lama’s seventh since the 81-year-old spiritual leader fled from Tibet through Tawang and sought refuge in India.
During the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal Pradesh visit, China had warned India that it will take “necessary measures” to defend its territorial sovereignty and interests.
China had lodged a diplomatic protest with India over the visit and warned that it would have a negative impact on the efforts to resolve the border dispute.
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). While China claims Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet, India asserts that the dispute covers Aksai Chin area which was occupied by China during the 1962 war.
The two sides have so far held 19 rounds of Special Representatives talks to resolve the boundary dispute.
(With inputs from agencies)