BEIJING: India will pay “dearly” if it continues the “petty game” of playing the Dalai Lama card, Chinese media warned on Friday, dismissing as “absurd” New Delhi’s reaction to Beijing renaming six places in Arunachal Pradesh.
Referring to allegations that it was “silly for China” not to have names for various counties and inventing them for six places in Arunachal Pradesh, an op-ed article in the state-run Global Times said “these comments are absurd”.
“It is time for India to do some serious thinking over why China announced the standardised names in South Tibet at this time,” the article titled ‘India playing Dalai card worsens territorial spats with China’ said.
The daily said “playing the Dalai Lama card” was never a wise choice for New Delhi. “If India wants to continue this petty game, it will only end up in paying dearly for it,” the daily said.
“South Tibet (Arunachal Pradesh) is historically part of China and name of the places there is part of the local ethnic culture. It is legitimate for the Chinese government to standardise the names of the places,” it said. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as ‘South Tibet’. China on April 19 announced that it has “standardised” official names for six places in the northeastern state and termed the provocative move as a “legitimate action”. The Chinese move came days after Beijing lodged strong protests with India over the Dalai Lama’s visit to the frontier state.
India on Thursday hit out at China for giving Chinese names to six areas of Arunachal Pradesh, saying assigning invented names to towns of the neighbour does not make illegal territorial claims legal.
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). While China claims Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet, India asserts that the dispute covers Aksai Chin area which was occupied by China during the 1962 war.