New Delhi: In a stinging rebuke to China dripping with sarcasm, India on Thursday said "renaming" or "inventing" names of areas in neighbouring countries does not make illegal occupation legal, adding that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India. The comment was made by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in response to a question on China "standardising" official names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh. China covets Arunachal and refers to it as "south Tibet". China is also in illegal custody of large swathes of land in "Aksai Chin" to the north which is situated in the eastern-most part of J&K. The Ministry of External Affairs said, "Renaming or inventing names of towns of your neighbour do not make illegal territorial claims legal". It added, "If you rename, it doesn't change the situation." The Chinese move earlier on Wednesday had come after Beijing lodged strong protests with India over the Dalai Lama's visit to the frontier state.
Meanwhile, China — despite its displeasure — has invited India for a global conference on the "One Belt One Road" that will be held in Beijing next month. The MEA said India had received an invitation which is "under consideration".