New Delhi, April 21: Right after China had renamed few cities of Arunachal Pradesh, India hit back yesterday saying Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and no foreign country has the right to rename cities of India. China on Friday maintained that it holds a legal right to standardise official names for six places in Arunachal.

Lu Kang, spokesman, Foreign Ministry of China, on India indicating clearly that Arunachal is an integral part of it, said,” Names have been used by ethnic Momba and Tibetan Chinese who have lived here for years, this fact cannot be overruled.” He further stated that it is our lawful right to standardise these names and publicise them is a legitimate measure.

Lu also countered India’s charge that China was inventing names to make its territorial claims over the area legal. The Chinese move came after Beijing launched strong protests with India over the Dalai Lama’s visit to the frontier state. Gopal Baglay, the spokesperson from Ministry of External Affairs, yesterday,  said, Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and renaming places of your neighbour does not make illegal occupation legal.

According to a report in Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times, the China Civil Affairs Ministry had on April 14 standardized six places in South Tibet, which India calls ‘Arunachal Pradesh‘, in accordance with the regulations of the State Council. The report added, “The official names of the six places using the Roman alphabet are Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidengarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bümo La and Namkapub Ri.”

Global Times, in an op-ed article, said that India needs to ponder seriously as to why China announced the standardised names in South Tibet( Arunachal as per China) at this time. It also wrote that inviting Dalai Lama was not a good choice made by New Delhi.

“South Tibet (Arunachal Pradesh) is historically part of China and name of the places there is part of the local ethnic culture. It is legal for the Chinese government to standardise the names of the places,” it further said.

(With Agency Inputs)