New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday stated that it is an “old habit” of China to stake claim on territories that do not belong to them. In an interview with NDTV, the foreign minister dismissed Beijing’s “absurd claims” and said “putting out a map does not mean anything.”
Jaishankar’s remarks came after China on Monday released the 2023 edition of its “standard map,” which shows the state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin region as part of its territory.
In an exclusive interview with the television channel, the external affairs minister said, “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 territories are. Making absurd claims does not make other people’s territories yours,” Jaishankar told NDTV.
The map released on August 28 by Beijing shows Arunachal Pradesh which China claims as South Tibet and Aksai Chin occupied by it in the 1962 war as part of its territory. The map also stakes claim over Taiwan and the disputed South China Sea.
The map also incorporates China’s claims over the nine-dash line thus laying claim to a large part of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei have all claims over the South China Sea areas.
The map was released by China’s Ministry of Natural Resources during the celebration of Surveying and Mapping Publicity Day and the National Mapping Awareness Publicity Week on Monday in Deqing county, Zhejiang province, as per China Daily newspaper.
Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra had said in his conversation with President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Modi highlighted India’s concerns on unresolved issues along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas.
“The Prime Minister underlined that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and observing and respecting the LAC are essential for the normalisation of the India-China relationship. In this regard, two leaders agreed to direct their relevant officials to intensify efforts at expeditious disengagement and de-escalation,” Kwatra had said.
This is not the first time that Beijing has employed such tactics. In April this year, China had unilaterally “renamed” as many as 11 Indian locations, which included names of mountain peaks, rivers and residential areas.
Previously in 2017 and 2021, China’s Civil Affair Ministry had renamed other Indian locations triggering another political confrontation. New Delhi called out China’s expansionist plans then. (ANI)