From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : McMahol Line, Shimla Convention
Mains level : India-China Border Issue
China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs has issued standardized names for 15 places in the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh, to be used henceforth on official Chinese maps.
- The Ministry of External Affairs has dismissed the Chinese “invention”.
- Arunachal Pradesh has always been, and will always be, an integral part of India, said MEA.
Why is China giving names to places that are in India?
- China claims some 90,000 sq km of Arunachal Pradesh as its territory.
- It calls the area “Zangnan” in the Chinese language and makes repeated references to “South Tibet”.
- Chinese maps show Arunachal Pradesh as part of China, and sometimes parenthetically refer to it as “so-called Arunachal Pradesh”.
- China makes periodic efforts to underline this unilateral claim to Indian territory.
- Giving Chinese names to places in Arunachal Pradesh is part of that effort.
Earlier unilateral renamings
- This is the second lot of “standardized” names of places in Arunachal Pradesh that China has announced.
- Earlier in 2017, it had issued “official” Chinese names for six places spanning the breadth of Arunachal Pradesh
What is China’s argument for claiming these areas?
- The PRC disputes the legal status of the McMahon Line, the official boundary under the ‘Convention Between Great Britain, China, and Tibet’ — of 1914 (Simla Convention).
- China was represented at the Simla Convention by a plenipotentiary of the Republic of China, which had been declared in 1912 after the Qing dynasty was overthrown.
- The present communist government came to power only in 1949, when the People’s Republic was proclaimed.
- The Chinese representative did not consent to the Simla Convention, saying Tibet had no independent authority to enter into international agreements.
What is the McMohan Line?
- The McMohan Line, named after Henry McMahon, the chief British negotiator at Shimla, was drawn from the eastern border of Bhutan to the Isu Razi pass on the China-Myanmar border.
- China claims territory to the south of the McMahon Line, lying in Arunachal Pradesh.
- China also bases its claims on the historical ties that have existed between the monasteries in Tawang and Lhasa.
Intention behind these renamings
- This renaming is a part of the Chinese strategy to assert its territorial claims over Indian territory.
- As part of this strategy, China routinely issues statements of outrage whenever an Indian dignitary visits Arunachal Pradesh.
- Beijing keeps harping on its “consistent” and “clear” position that the Indian possession of Arunachal Pradesh.
- These claims have been firmly established and recognized by the world, as “illegal”.
Arunachal not all-alone
- Laying aggressive claims to territories on the basis of alleged historical injustices done to China is a part of Beijing’s foreign policy playbook.
- The claim on Taiwan is one such example, as are the consistent efforts to change the “facts on the ground” in several disputed islands in the South China Sea.
- The aggression is at all times backed in overt and covert ways by the use of China’s economic and military muscle.