Chinese Shenanigans in Arunachal Pradesh

Chinese Shenanigans in Arunachal Pradesh


  • For the third time in recent years, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs made a provocative move on April 2 by releasing new names for 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh under the guise of standardizing geographical names in “Zangnan” (a phony term invented by Beijing to claim that Arunachal Pradesh is “South Tibet”).
  •  According to media reports, these names include “two residential areas, five mountain peaks, two rivers, and two other areas.” In 2017, China ‘renamed’ six Arunachal Pradesh locations. It also standardized the names of 15 sites in 2021, which included population centers mountains, rivers, and a mountain pass.

Points to Ponder

  • Under the guise of standardizing geographical names in “Zangnan” (a term devised by Beijing to assert that Arunachal Pradesh is “South Tibet”), China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs issued new names for 11 locations in Arunachal Pradesh, India.
  • China’s moves are part of its depredations and unjustified irredentist claims, not only in Arunachal Pradesh, but also in the Himalayas, the East and South China Seas, and the Indian Ocean.
  • China plans to establish the groundwork for phony “historical” claims by fictionally renaming alien lands, which are then pursued utilizing the “three warfares” method of propaganda, psychological, and legal warfare.
  • China also passed a new law on the protection and exploitation of the country’s land border territories, which went into force on January 1, 2022, effectively turning the boundary conflict with India into a sovereignty dispute.
  • India has always rejected China’s claims to Arunachal Pradesh, stating that it is an important and inalienable part of the country.
  • China’s claim to Arunachal Pradesh is false and without foundation. According to Hugh Edward Richardson’s Tibet And Its History, the Qing presence in Tibet began to emerge around 1720, following Chinese participation in the internal succession dispute following the death of the Sixth Dalai Lama (1683-1706).
  • Arunachal Pradesh is home to several tribes that have historically been a part of India’s civilizational legacy, and its population has historically been oriented towards the Assam plains. The tribes there had constant communication with the Ahom rulers in Assam, including providing Posha levying rights from the plains people in the surrounding districts.

Cultural references 

  • The Mahabharata, Ramayana, Kalika Purana, Vishnu Purana, Yogini Purana, and Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsa all contain references that indicate the inclusion of these tribal areas in India’s collective consciousness and cultural identity.
  • According to accounts, the bounds of the kingdoms of Pragjyotisha and Kamarupa appeared to span the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh. The Shiva Linga in Ziro, Parshuram Kund, and the temple remains of Malinithan, which are linked to the legends of Parashuram, Rukmini, Bhismaka, and Sishupala, demonstrate the region’s old Hindu influence. 
  • Some Mishmis believe they are descended from King Bhishmaka, while others believe they are descended from King Bhaluka. Silver coins and inscriptions in Arabic writing have been discovered at Bhalukpong, which have been linked to a Muslim monarch of Bengal.
  • Many forts, such as those at Bhalukpong, Ita, and Bhismaknagar (constructed between the 10th and 16th centuries), are highly influenced by the architectural principles of fort design found in the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Arthashastra. These forts were frontier posts of the Brahmaputra Valley’s defense system.

India china relationship

  • Historical links: Since ancient times, India and China have had cultural, religious, and economic relations.
  • Border disputes: The unresolved border dispute between the two countries has resulted in multiple military engagements in the past. The two countries’ boundary is not legally delineated, and there are territorial disputes in various regions.
  • Despite border tensions, trade between the two countries has increased dramatically in recent years. Although China is India’s most important trading partner, there is a trade imbalance in China’s favor.
  • Strategic rivalry: India and China are both growing countries vying for influence in the region. This competitiveness can be seen in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and India’s Act East policy.
  • Cultural exchanges: Both countries have a diverse cultural legacy and have previously exchanged cultural delegations and events.
  • Cooperation in multilateral forums: India and China are both members of various multilateral forums, including the BRICS, G20, and SCO, and have cooperated in these forums on subjects of mutual interest.
  • Geopolitical consequences: The India-China relationship has far-reaching geopolitical repercussions, not just for the two countries themselves, but for the entire region. Other major powers, like the United States, Russia, and Japan, are keeping a careful eye on the relationship between the two countries.

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