New Delhi: Just making “absurd claims” does not make other people’s territories yours, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday rejecting China’s so-called “standard map” that laid claim over Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as regions within its borders.
He said Beijing had even put out such maps in the past claiming territories that are not theirs and that it is “an old habit” of China.
On Monday, Beijing released the 2023 edition of the so-called “standard map of China” that claimed Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as belonging to that country.
The “map” also showed the so-called nine-dash line covering the South China Sea as part of China as featured in the previous editions of the ‘map’.
“China has even in the past put out maps which claimed the territories which are not China’s, which belong to other countries. This is an old habit of theirs,” Jaishankar said.
He made the comments while replying to a question on the ‘map’ at an event hosted by the NDTV.
“It is not something which is new. It started in the 1950s. So just by putting out a map claiming territories some of which are part of India.. I think this doesn’t change (anything). These are very much part of India,” he said.
“We are very clear what our territories are. This government is very clear about what we need to do to defend our territory. You can see that on our borders. I think there should be no doubt about that,” Jaishankar said.
“Just making absurd claims does not make other people’s territories yours. Let’s be very clear on that,” he added.
India on Tuesday lodged a strong protest with China over the map issue and said such steps only complicate the resolution of the boundary question.
“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,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
“We reject these claims as they have no basis. Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question,” he added.
In April, India outrightly rejected China’s renaming of some places in Arunachal Pradesh, asserting that the state is an integral part of India and that assigning “invented” names does not alter this reality.
In early April, Beijing announced Chinese names for 11 more places in Arunachal Pradesh which the neighbouring country claims as southern part Tibet.
It was the third batch of standardised geographical names for Arunachal Pradesh issued by China’s civil affairs ministry.
The first batch of the standardised names of six places in Arunachal Pradesh was released in 2017 while the second batch of 15 places was issued in 2021. PTI