Controversy Arises as China Includes Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin in Standard Map

This comes days after Xi met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the BRICS summit in South Africa

New Delhi: Ahead of the G20 Summit next month and suspense over the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India, the reported inclusion of Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin region in the 2023 edition of China's standard map triggered fresh controversy. This comes days after Xi met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the BRICS summit in South Africa.

External affairs minister S. Jaishankar said, “It is an old habit of China” to include areas in their maps that belong to other countries.” Speaking to a TV channel and lambasting Beijing, Dr Jaishankar said, “Making absurd claims doesn’t make other people’s territory yours.”

India announced that it had rejected Beijing’s move and lodged a strong protest with China on the matter, adding that “such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question”.

In response to media queries, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We have today lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels with the Chinese side on the so-called 2023 'standard map' of China that lays claim to India’s territory. We reject these claims as they have no basis.”

The Chinese State-run Global Times had on Monday said, the “2023 edition of China's standard map was officially released on Monday and launched on the website of the standard map service hosted by the Chinese ministry of natural resources” and that “this map is compiled based on the drawing method of national boundaries of China and various countries in the world.”

According to media reports, disputed maritime regions in the South China Sea have also been shown as part of China. Beijing has maritime disputes with some of the south-east Asian nations as well such as Vietnam and the Philippines.

India’s north-eastern State of Arunachal Pradesh is coveted by Beijing which regards it as Chinese territory and calls it “south Tibet”. New Delhi has maintained that Arunachal will always continue to be an integral and inalienable part of India. It may also be recalled that the Aksai Chin region to the North has been illegally occupied by China at least since the past six decades. New Delhi regards Aksai Chin too as Indian territory.

Asked about the border issues with China, Dr Jaishankar said “This government (in India) is very clear” that the borders would be fully defended. “There is no problem you cannot solve,” he said when asked whether he thought that negotiations with China would bear fruit.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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