India criticises China for name changes on contested Himalayan border

Tensions in the region remain high since an incident four years ago when troops on both sides attacked each other with stones, sticks and their fists.

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India criticises China for name changes on contested Himalayan borderNew Delhi on Tuesday sharply criticised Beijing for renaming places along their contested border in the Himalayas.

“China has persisted with its attempt to rename places in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

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We firmly reject such attempts,’’ a spokesman for India’s External Affairs Ministry said in New Delhi, after the Chinese authorities changed some 30 names.

“Assigning invented names will not alter the reality that Arunachal Pradesh is, has been, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India,’’ the spokesman added.

On Saturday, the Chinese authorities published names in the region; it refers to as `South Tibet’ renaming settlements, mountains, rivers, a lake, a mountain pass and stretch of land with Chinese and Tibetan designations.

The renaming was part of “standardisation’’ in accordance with decisions taken by the State Council, the top Chinese administrative authority.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently inaugurated infrastructure projects in the region, drawing criticism from Beijing, which said the move did not contribute to stability.

The two countries share a contested border of some 3,500 kilometres.

Tensions in the region remain high since an incident four years ago when troops on both sides attacked each other with stones, sticks and their fists.

At least 20 Indian and four Chinese troops are reported to have been killed.

Since then, both sides have strengthened their forces and invested in infrastructure.

The conflict led to a brief war in 1962, in which China prevailed.