After China's 'renaming' of 11 places within the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, the United States (US) has said it recognises Arunachal as an integral part of India.
The White House said it strongly opposes unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by renaming localities.
Beijing considers Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, and therefore lays claim to it. The renaming exercise falls within that context.
"The United States has recognised that territory (Arunachal Pradesh) for a long time (as an integral part of India). And we strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by renaming localities," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday (4 April).
Jean-Pierre reaffirmed their long-standing stance on Arunachal during a daily news conference.
India, meanwhile, rejected China's renaming of places in Arunachal Pradesh, emphasising that the state is an integral part of India and such renaming tactics through "invented names" don't change the fact.
“This is not the first time China has made such an attempt. We reject this outright,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
This was the third batch of standardised geographical names for Arunachal issued by China’s Civil Affairs Ministry.
Six standardised place names in Arunachal Pradesh were released in 2017, followed by 15 more in 2021.
China has now renamed places in Arunachal even as the aftertaste from the eastern Ladakh border standoff, which began in May 2020, remains.
India has reinforced military preparedness along the Line of Actual Control in the state after the standoff.
India and China have been in a confrontation for almost three years in eastern Ladakh.
Extensive diplomatic and military discussions have taken place between the two sides, leading to troop disengagement from several areas.
Still, tensions remain.
India asserts that peace in the border areas is vital for normalising relations with China.
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