Foreign minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday slammed China for another act of cartographic aggression that saw Beijing again releasing a “standard” map of the country, which showed Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin in it, and said such absurd claims would not help China take over these territories.
The external affairs ministry lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels with the Chinese side on the so-called 2023 “standard map” released on Monday by one of the Chinese ministries. “We reject these claims as they have no basis. Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question,” spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
Jaishankar said showing Indian territory in its own map was an old habit of China’s. “Just by putting out maps with parts of India… this doesn’t change anything. Our government is very clear about our territory. Making absurd claims does not make other people’s territories yours,” the minister told NDTV
China has in the recent past, on several occasions, also renamed villages in Arunachal Pradesh, an Indian state it claims as part of south Tibet, and has protested visits to the state by Indian leaders. India, however, has always responded by asserting that the northeastern state is and will always remain an integral and inalienable part of India.
While the new “standard” map is not new, the timing of its latest release is suspect as it comes just before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India for the G20 summit and days after his “informal conversation” with PM Narendra Modi on the margins of the Brics summit in Johannesburg.