NEW DELHI: The US has expressed strong opposition to China’s recent announcement of 30 new names of various places in Arunachal Pradesh amid Beijing’s stepped-up assertions in recent weeks to re-emphasise its claim over the Indian state.
“The United States strongly opposes any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by incursions or encroachments, military or civilian, across the Line of Actual Control,” a state department official said.
India’s rejection and US support
“China has persisted with its senseless attempts to rename places in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. We firmly reject such attempts. 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,” MEA spokesperson said in a statement.
Union minister Kiren Rijiju said, “China has given some kind of names to some places in Arunachal Pradesh. But, I don’t understand why they are doing that. We are very upset and we totally reject this kind of malicious activities conducted by the Chinese government. Our government from the External Affairs Ministry has responded very appropriately. But, what I feel is China is very nervous because earlier these border areas were totally left underdeveloped during Congress time and during Modiji’s time, all major highways, roads, bridges, all 4G networks, water supply, electricity, all basic amenities are being provided in the border areas, especially in Arunachal Pradesh which was neglected for so long.”
He noted that India has emerged as a great power under PM Modi’s rule. He asserted that India will not create problems for others, however, it will respond appropriately if the country is disturbed. Rijiju said that the people of Arunachal are Indian citizens and nobody can change their status.
China had last week for the 4th time released new names for places in the Indian state, looking to reinforce its claim of sovereignty over the state it calls Zangnan.
It had last released names for villages in Arunachal in 2023, shortly after India hosted a G20 meeting in the state. Foreign minister S Jaishankar had responded on Monday by reiterating India’s position that Arunachal has been and will always remain an integral part of India. “If I change the name of your house, will it become mine? Arunachal Pradesh was an Indian state, is an Indian state and will remain so in the future. Nothing will be gained by changing names,” said the minister, while on a visit to Gujarat.
The strategic importance of Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh holds significant cultural and historical ties to Tibet and is of strategic interest to both India and China. The US has increasingly aligned with India, sharing real-time intelligence and strengthening cooperation as part of its Indo-Pacific strategy to counter Chinese influence in the region.
US Indo-Pacific strategy
The Biden administration’s National Defence Strategy emphasizes support for allies and partners facing “acute forms of grey zone coercion” from China, including in areas like the East China Sea, Taiwan Strait, South China Sea, and the disputed land borders with India. The US’s proactive sharing of intelligence with India regarding Chinese military positions along the Line of Actual Control exemplifies this commitment to countering Chinese territorial ambitions.
(With inputs from agencies)


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