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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reasserted the MEA’s comments and emphasised that by doing it repeatedly, it is still senseless.

Addressing a press conference, Jaishankar had said, “If today I change the name of your house, will it become mine? Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always be a state of India. Changing names does not have an effect.”

Notably, India has repeatedly rejected China’s territorial claims over Arunachal Pradesh, asserting that the state is an integral part of the country. New Delhi has also dismissed Beijing’s move to assign “invented” names to the area, saying it did not alter reality.

The latest territorial dispute over Arunachal Pradesh has reignited following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state on March 9 to inaugurate the Sela Tunnel. The tunnel, constructed at an altitude of 13,000 feet, and India’s bolstering of its military readiness through this infrastructure enhancement have contributed to the escalation.

In response to these events, the Chinese military had reiterated its claim over Arunachal Pradesh, calling the area an “inherent part of China’s territory,” a claim that India called “absurd and baseless.”

Similarly, On March 21, the United States had expressed its opposition to Chinese claims and asserted that it recognised Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory, days after Beijing reiterated its claim in the aftermath of

Speaking at his daily press conference, State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel had said: “The United States recognises Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory and we strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by incursions or encroachments, military or civilian, across the Line of Actual Control.”

Beijing had objected to Washington’s statement, claiming that its border with India has never been delimited. “The China-India boundary question is a matter between the two countries and has nothing to do with the US side,” a Chinese government spokesperson had said in response.

This is the fourth such attempt by China to rename regions within Arunachal Pradesh. Beijing had released the first list of the so-called standardised names of six places in Zangnan in 2017, while the second list of 15 places was issued in 2021, followed by another list with names for 11 places in 2023.

In August 2023, China released a new “standard map” for 2023 showing Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as part of its territory. It had defended its decision by claiming that it was a “routine practice” in accordance with its law and urged India to “stay objective and calm” and refrain from “over-interpreting” the issue.

India had rejected the move, asserting that Beijing’s claims “have no basis” and that such steps only complicate the resolution of the boundary question. “Just making absurd claims does not make other people’s territories yours,” EAM Jaishankar had told NDTV while reacting to China’s renaming tactics.

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