Chinese Shenanigans on Arunachal Pradesh

Chinese Shenanigans on Arunachal Pradesh
 

News: Recently, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs, released new names for 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh under the fig leaf of standardizing geographical names in “Zangnan” (a term used by China to claim that Arunachal Pradesh is “South Tibet”).
 

Background:
 China’s steps of naming places include two residential areas, five mountain peaks, two rivers and other two other areas”.
 Back in 2017 as well China had ‘renamed’ six places that lie in Arunachal Pradesh.
 China launched the construction of dual-purpose villages, the Xiaokang villages, in areas adjacent to the border with India, from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.
 

Where are the places located?
 Some of the places are located along the Pangchen-Tawang-Jang-Sela axis running down from the Line of Actual Control
 Some are located near old Buddhist pilgrimage circuits near Taksing in Upper Subansiri district
 Mechuka-Tato tehsil in West Siang and towards the Lohit and Anjaw districts, near Walong.
 

What is Chinese Modus operandi?
 It is to lay the groundwork through fictional renaming of alien territories as a basis for sham “historical” claims which are then pursued using the warfares” strategy of - Waging propaganda and Psychological and legal warfare.
 In the words of Sun Tzu they believe in the acme of skill is winning without fighting.
 Although their Foreign Minister emphasizes that as neighboring countries and major developing economies, China and India have far more common interests than differences. However, the reality is far from different as they engage in renaming places, denial of visas to few Indian media personnel who they believe are not pliable to serve their interests.
 

What are legislations followed by China for renaming?
 Geographical Name Regulation in 1986 designed to regulate naming, renaming, and standardization exercises. Amended rule in 2022. These pieces of legislation mainly dealt with naming, renaming, and standardizing names within China, They also cover several alien territories claimed by China.
 New Coast Guard Law in 2021, to take necessary measures, including the use of force, to safeguard “sovereignty”.
 New law on the protection and exploitation of the country’s land border areas in 2022 – It has the effect of converting the boundary dispute with India into a sovereignty issue.
 

Why are Chinese claims over Arunachal Pradesh false and superficial in nature?
 According to the book, Tibet and Its History by Hugh Edward Richardson: Qing presence in Tibet began to emerge around 1720.
 After Chinese intervention in the internecine succession struggle following the death of the Sixth Dalai Lama (1683-1706). Therefore, there is absolutely no basis to the Chinese claim over Tawang, or any other part of Arunachal Pradesh on the grounds that it is the birthplace of the Sixth Dalai Lama.
 A study of the 1960 reports of the officials of the two sides on the boundary question reveals the vague, patchy and superficial nature of “evidence” proffered by the Chinese side in support of Beijing’s boundary claims.
 Arunachal Pradesh (formerly North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA), is home to various tribes that have historically been a part of India’s civilizational heritage. Most of its populace has been historically oriented towards the Assam plains. The tribes were in regular contact with the Ahom power in Assam, including for the grant of rights to levy the Posha from the plains people in the adjacent areas.
 Some tribes, such as the Monpas, have professed Buddhism, others follow animistic practices.
 The Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Kalika Purana, the Vishnu Purana, the Yogini Purana, and Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsa have references, indication of the inclusion of these tribal tracts in the collective consciousness and cultural moorings of ancient India. These sources have indications about the boundaries of the kingdoms of Pragjyotisha and Kamarupa, whose limits appeared to include the whole of Arunachal Pradesh.
 The Shiva Linga in Ziro, Parshuram Kund, and the temple ruins of Malinithan, which are connected to the legends of Parashuram, Rukmini, Bhishmaka and Sishupala, show an ancient Hindu influence in the region.
 Archaeological finds have unearthed silver coins and inscriptions in the Arabic script at Bhalukpong, linked to a Muslim ruler of Bengal.
 The architecture of many forts, such as those at Bhalukpong, Ita and Bhismaknagar (built between the 10th and 16th centuries). It is heavily influenced by the architectural principles of fort construction found in the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and Arthashastra. These forts were frontier posts of the security system that was prevalent in the Brahmaputra Valley.
 

What are present areas of disputes?

Western Areas - Daulat Beg Oldie area, Demchok in South, Depsang Bulge, Galwan and Pangong lake and Hot spring

Central Sector - Barahoti pasture near Chamoli, Uttrakhand 

Eastern Sector (AP) - The international boundary and The LAC as defined under Mcmahon Line 1914. 


Has China renamed places elsewhere as well?
 In 2020, China gave names to 80 geographical features in the Paracels and Spratlys Islands in the South China Sea. (This dispute involves many South-east Asian countries)
 Using the term “Diaoyutai” for the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea in the 1950s, even before raking up the Senkaku issue with Japan.
 

What should India do?
 There is lack of comparable influence of any Chinese culture on Arunachal Pradesh as a whole. Thus, India must reject China’s false claims of renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh and should rather assign Indian names to places under illegal occupation of China.
 Aksai Chin, may be called Akshaya Chinha — which means an “everlasting symbol” (of India).

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