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Should India not rename areas in China-occupied Aksai Chin?

3 min read

On April 5, Chinese spokesperson Mao Ning talked about that Indian Arunachal Pradesh (Zangnan in Han Chinese) was part of China’s territory and names of some parts of this space had been standardized by Beijing as part of its sovereign rights. Since 2017, China has renamed 32 geographical areas in Arunachal Pradesh as part of its approach to say over what it claims as South Tibet (Xizang in Chinese).

Chinese President Xi Jinping and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Amidst claims and counter-claims on the 3488 km prolonged Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, the bilateral place is that Beijing (as per 1987 Vice Minister’s dialogue) has staked a declare on every the western and jap sectors after in 1960 (Chou En-Lai) and in 1984 (Deng Xiaoping) proposed that China was eager to give up its claims on the jap sector if India accepts claims of the middle-kingdom inside the western sector.

While the Chinese place on the land border choice has modified as per its consolation and its world clout, the Indian place is fixed given that occupation of Tibet by Communist China forces in 1950. India claims the whole Aksai China (as per 1865 Johnson Line) and Arunachal Pradesh as its private territory.

Given that China is cementing its declare in East Ladakh by the first May 2020 transgression apart from not allowing Indian Army to patrol inside its outlined limits, and by renaming geographical areas in Arunachal Pradesh since 2017, must India not moreover identify the “Sinicized” names of geographical areas inside Occupied Aksai Chin by its earlier Ladakhi names. After all, the Tibetan language is a derivative of Sanskrit and by no means Mandarin Chinese language and there are Sanskrit names of areas like Hotan, Kashgar, and Tashikurgan along with East Turkestan (known as Sinkiang in Tibetan and Xinjiang in Chinese).

While India has printed a map claiming every Aksai Chin on the east and Occupied Kashmir along with Northern Areas inside the west, it has not printed a map naming cities and geographical areas inside Aksai Chin since 1954. The freeway road linking Lhasa in occupied Tibet to Kashgar or Kashgiri in East Turkestan was inbuilt 1957. The PLA bodily occupied Aksai Chin inside the 1962 battle and since then China has been attempting to impose the 1959 line (outlined by Chou En-Lai) on East Ladakh.

Intriguingly, the Chinese cartographical aggression is coming at a time when the Opposition occasions in India, primarily the Congress are asking the Narendra Modi authorities to retaliate at Beijing for the May 2020 transgression along with Yangtze battle in Arunachal Pradesh. Fact is that the whole territory in Aksai Chin and even parts of Arunachal Pradesh was misplaced when Congress was the get collectively in power.

Although the Indian spokesperson has dismissed the April 2 Chinese renaming prepare by reiterating that Arunachal Pradesh was integral part of India, Beijing is not solely indulging in psychological warfare in direction of India however as well as telling its house viewers that President Xi Jinping will use the mighty PLA to revive China’s geographical claims every on Arunachal Pradesh and Taiwan.

Even though China has truly upgraded military infrastructure alongside the LAC and made Tibet proper right into a fortress, it can’t afford to make unilateral aggression on India to say Arunachal Pradesh or impose the 1959 line. It is a recipe for mutually assured destruction.


Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded Ok Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.
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