China’s “standard” map shows Aksai Chin, which it occupied in the 1962 war, and Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as South Tibet, as part of its territory.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today demanded a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in response to China’s release of a map that claims ownership of Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, which has been categorically rejected by India.
On Monday, China released a new “standard” map that shows Aksai Chin, which it occupied in the 1962 war, and Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as South Tibet, as part of its territory. The map also shows the entire South China Sea as part of China, as it had in previous editions.
“I have been saying for years that what the PM said, that not one inch of land was lost in Ladakh, is a lie. The entire Ladakh knows that China has transgressed. This map issue is very serious. They have taken away the land. PM should say something about it,” Rahul Gandhi said while leaving for Karnataka.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told NDTV in an exclusive interview that the map meant nothing and China has a ‘habit’ of releasing such maps.
“China has put out maps with territories (that are) not theirs. (It is an) old habit. Just by putting out maps with parts of India… this doesn’t change in anything. Our government is very clear about what our territory. Making absurd claims does not make other people’s territories yours,” Mr Jaishankar told NDTV.
India has initiated protests through diplomatic channels over the “standard” map.
“We reject the claims as they have no basis. Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.
The map has surfaced at a critical time as India gears up for the G20 Summit scheduled for September 9-10.
PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to work for “expeditious de-escalation” along the entire Line of Actual Control (LAC) during their meeting at the BRICS summit in South Africa this month. China announced new Chinese names for 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh in early April. India rejected the renaming, asserting that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and that assigning “invented” names does not alter the reality that the northeastern state is under Indian administration.This was China’s civil affairs ministry’s third addition to the first batch of six places released in 2017 and the second batch of 15 places released in 2021.The ties between India and China were severely strained by the eastern Ladakh border standoff that began in May 2020 following which troops of both countries have been locked in an over three-year confrontation amid several talks of de-escalation.