Jaishankar on China’s claims: Absurd claims’ don’t make other people’s territories yours

New Delhi:¬†Just making “absurd claims” does not make other people’s territories yours, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday rejecting China’s so-called “standard map” that laid claim over Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as regions within its borders.

He said Beijing had even put out such maps in the past claiming territories that are not theirs and that it is “an old habit” of China.

On Monday, Beijing released the 2023 edition of the so-called “standard map of China” that claimed Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as belonging to that country.

Jaishankar also de-linked disengagement talks along the Line of Actual Control with the China’s new map, the release of which on Monday was sandwiched between the G20 Summit in Delhi next weekend and last week’s “informal conversation” between China’s Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS Summit in South Africa. PM Modi had then conveyed to Mr Jinping India’s “concerns over unresolved issues along LAC and other areas along the India-China border”.

The map also shows other disputed areas –¬†Taiwan and large parts of the South China Sea – as part of China’s territories. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei have all claims over the latter.

According to a Chinese daily, the map was released by that country’s Ministry of Natural Resources during celebrations for Surveying and Mapping Publicity Day and the National Mapping Awareness Publicity Week. China’s Global Times posted the map on X (formerly Twitter) and said it had been compiled based on “drawing method of national boundaries of China and vauterious (other) countries”.

China Tried To ‘Rename’ Places In Arunachal: In April the Indian government rejected China’s bid to rename 11 locations within Arunachal Pradesh, which it also calls ‘Zangnan’ – the third time Beijing has attempted such an egregious move after 2018 and 2021 – and asserted the north-eastern state has been and will always be an integral part of India.

“We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has made such an attempt. We reject this outright,” Arindam Bagchi had said then, adding, “Arunachal Pradesh is, has been, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. Attempts to assign invented names will not alter this reality.”

India-China Clashes in Arunachal: Indian and Chinese troops clashed along the LAC in the state’s Tawang sector in December last year – a face-off that came amid a months-long border standoff in eastern Ladakh that prompted Delhi to bolster overall military readiness along the LAC in the Arunachal Pradesh sector as well.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had then accused China of trying to “unilaterally” change the status quo and, last month, Mr Jaishankar said the situation remains “very fragile” and “quite dangerous”.