Online Quiz Test

Chinese Claims to Areas of Arunachal Pradesh under Fabricated Names

GS 2 India & Foreign Relations International Organisations & Groupings

In Context

  • The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs announced that it would “standardise” 11 place names in what Beijing refers to as “South Tibet or Zangnan,” a region administered by India on a regular basis.

China’s renaming for places in Arunachal Pradesh:


  •  The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs released the Mandarin, Tibetan, and pinyin names for eleven locations in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Chinese Ministry’s actions are in conformity with geographical name laws set by the State Council, the Chinese Cabinet.

The places

  • These locations consist of two land areas, two residential areas, five mountain peaks, and two rivers.
  • The category of these locations and their subordinate administrative districts were also stated.

India’s reaction

  • The Indian government categorically rejected the proposal.

Previous renaming attempts by China:

  • This is not the first time China has taken a similar action. It released two different sets of “standardised” names of places in Arunachal Pradesh back in 2017 and 2021.

First list

  • Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidengarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bumo La, and Namkapub Ri were the six names written in the Roman script on the first list.
  • The latitude and longitude listed with the names indicated that these places were Tawang, Kra Daadi, West Siang, Siang (where Mechuka or Menchuka is an emerging tourist destination), Anjaw, and Subansiri respectively.
  • These six places spanned the breadth of Arunachal Pradesh, with “Wo’gyainling” in the west, “Bumo La” in the east, and the other four in the state’s centre.

Second list

  • The second list contained eight residential communities, four mountains, two rivers, and a mountain pass. Strongly reacting to the release of the second list, India at the time said Arunachal Pradesh was, is, and will always be an integral part of India and the “standardised” names were a Chinese invention.
  • This is exactly what India has reiterated after the Chinese authorities recently for the third time put out another set of names of places in the state.

Why is China giving names to places that are in India?

  • China claims around 90,000 square kilometres of Arunachal Pradesh as its domain.
  • China calls the area “Zangnan” in Chinese and repeatedly refers to “South Tibet.”
  • Chinese maps depict Arunachal Pradesh as a part of China and refer to it as “so-called Arunachal Pradesh” in brackets.
  • Periodically, China makes steps to emphasise its unilateral claim to Indian land. As part of this endeavour, sites in Arunachal Pradesh are being given Chinese names.

China’s argument for claiming these areas:


  •  The People’s Republic of China disputes the legal status of the McMahon Line, the boundary between Tibet and British India that was established in 1914 by the Simla Convention formally known as the “Agreement Between Great Britain, China, and Tibet.”
  •  The McMohan Line, named after Henry McMahon, the main British negotiator at Shimla, was created between the eastern border of Bhutan and the Isu Razi pass on the China-Myanmar border.
  • China was represented at the Simla Conference by a plenipotentiary of the Republic of China, which had been formed in 1912 following the overthrow of the Qing dynasty. The People’s Republic of China was not proclaimed until 1949. The Chinese representative opposed the Simla Convention, arguing that Tibet lacked the authority to independently join into international agreements.

China’s claims

  • China claims Arunachal Pradesh area south of the McMahon Line;
  • China bases its claims on historical linkages between the monasteries of Tawang and Lhasa.

Part of Chinese strategy

  • As part of their strategy, the Chinese press their territorial claims to Indian land. China consistently expresses declarations of anger whenever an Indian dignitary visits Arunachal Pradesh as part of this approach. China insists on its “consistent” and “clear” position that the Indian ownership of Arunachal Pradesh, despite being firmly established and internationally recognised, is “illegal” and requests that New Delhi cease acts that “complicate” the border problem.

Way ahead

  •  Beijing’s foreign policy playbook includes asserting aggressive territorial claims based on past injustices allegedly committed against China.
  • The claim on Taiwan is one example, as are the persistent efforts to modify the “facts on the ground” in several disputed islands in the South China Sea.
  • The aggression is always supported in overt and covert ways by China’s economic and military power.
  • Political connections have not been restarted despite the fact that there have been numerous rounds of negotiations and withdrawal at some impasses.
  • Until the government investigates the causes of China’s actions and the motivations for its ongoing aggressions, it will be difficult to plan a future course of action, even as it fights China’s false narrative and the renaming of places that are clearly inside India’s borders.


Daily Mains Question

[Q] It is part of Beijing’s foreign policy playbook to assert aggressive territorial claims based on claimed historical wrongs against China. Analyse. How can India prepare for a possible Chinese attack on Arunachal Pradesh?