India dismisses China's claim of Arunachal Pradesh as its territory in new map

The state is located at the eastern edge of the 4,000km undemarcated border between the two countries

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India has dismissed a map released by China that includes contested territories controlled by New Delhi, calling it an "absurd claim".

India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday that China had an “old habit” of including territories belonging to other countries in its maps.

“These (territories) are very much part of India. This government is very clear what our territories are and what we need to defend our territories. Making absurd claims doesn't make other territories yours,” Mr Jaishankar told the New Delhi Television news channel.

The map includes India’s north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh and parts of Kashmir. It was released on Monday, days after the two nations agreed to deescalate border disputes.

It also shows the island of Taiwan and the South China Sea as Chinese territory.

Beijing and New Delhi have had frosty diplomatic ties after their troops were involved in deadly clashes in 2020 along part of their disputed border in the Ladakh region.

At least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese soldiers died in fighting in the area.

The map was officially released on Monday on the Ministry of Natural Resources standard map service website, state-run Global Times said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“This map is compiled based on the drawing method of the national boundaries of China and various countries in the world,” the newspaper said.

The nuclear-armed nations share a 4,000km-long undemarcated border along the Himalayan mountain range from Ladakh in the north to Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the east, known as the line of actual control, or LAC.

Arunachal Pradesh lies on the Indian side of the eastern tip of the LAC, which China considers southern Tibet.

India has said the state has “always been” and will “always be” an integral part of the country.

China claims that sections of Ladakh, including Aksai Chin, were part of the ancient Chinese empire.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs did not respond to The National’s request for comment on China's new map.

The map was released days after India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to prioritise efforts to de-escalate border tensions during a brief meeting at the Brics summit in South Africa on Friday.

There have been several rounds of high-level talks between senior military commanders and Foreign Ministry officials from both sides without significant progress.

The two nations held the 19th round of the India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side on August 13 and 14.

China renamed about a dozen places in Arunachal Pradesh, which it referred to as “Zangnan, the southern part of Tibet”, in April this year.

Updated: August 29, 2023, 2:35 PM