Beijing gives villages in India Chinese names as it seeks to expand in contested borderlands

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Beijing has given Chinese names to 15 villages within the Indian territory in the disputed border region of Arunachal Pradesh to assert sovereignty over them, the Ministry of Civil Affairs has announced.

The government said it had “standardised” the names of 15 places in ‘South Tibet’ – Beijing’s title for the region India calls Arunachal Pradesh – and gave them all formal Chinese names.

India has hit back at China for giving “invented” names to these villages, saying it would not alter their factual position.

“People in Arunachal Pradesh are really angry with the activities of China along the border. China has no authority to rename our territory,” BJP Member of Parliament Tapir Gao, from Arunachal Pradesh, told the Daily Telegraph.

“We condemn and reject renaming of our villages by China,” he said.

Tensions have been ramping up along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates the superpowers since May 2020, when soldiers from each side engaged in hand-to-hand combat and beat each other with nail-studded bats. At least 20 soldiers died in the skirmishes.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs hit back and said, “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.”

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