Arunachal Pradesh: China renames districts in disputed India state

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China has renamed six districts along a disputed Himalayan border region with India, in a move seen as “retaliation” for a visit by the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan spiritual leader, 81, had visited Arunachal Pradesh in India’s remote north-east earlier in April. China had said the visit had a “negative impact” on bilateral relations and warned India against “undermining” Beijing’s interests. India has not yet commented on the Chinese announcement, made on Tuesday. Here are the new names: Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidêngarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bümo La and Namkapub Ri.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said that the name changes were “a legitimate action by the Chinese government” which “reflect from another side that China’s territorial claim over South Tibet is supported by clear evidence in terms of history, culture and administration.” Lu explained that the names had been “passed on from generation to generation by people who lived there for generations, the Tibetan ethnic and Monpa ethnic groups,” but China had only just now got around to using them as part of an ongoing “second census of names and localities.”