On 'Standard Map', China says ‘routine affair’

Beijing’s statement comes a day after New Delhi snubbed the new map calling it absurd
Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson and Arindam Bagchi, Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs
Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson and Arindam Bagchi, Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs

NEW DELHI: A day after India trashed China’s Standard Map by terming it “absurd”, China on Wednesday said the release of the map was a “routine practice in its exercise of sovereignty”.
The map claimed Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh are part of Chinese territory. India has taken a serious view of this map and launched a strong protest with the neighbouring country in this regard.
“It’s a routine practice in China’s exercise of sovereignty in accordance with law. We hope relevant sides can stay objective and calm, and refrain from overinterpreting the issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday called the map “absurd” as it included Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh as a party of Chinese territory. “It’s an old habit of theirs. These (territories) are very much part of India. This government is very clear what our territories are. Making absurd claims doesn’t make others territories yours,’’ said Jaishankar in Delhi.

“We have lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels with the Chinese side on the so called 2023 standard map of China that lays claim to India’s territory,” said Ministry External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. India further said they rejected such claims as they had no basis. “Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question,’’ Bagchi added.

The standard map in question was unveiled by China on Monday that incorporated Aksai Chin, Arunachal Pradesh, Taiwan and disputed areas of South China Sea as its own. All this says the intent to defuse the border issues seems to be only on the Indian side. Whereas China seems at ease in stirring up the issue, which gets India to react.  Also, the balance of trade between the two nations is in China’s favour. The trade deficit is around $101.02 billion, which has been of concern for India.

China on its part does what it wants to — whether it is through a map or naming villages in Arunachal Pradesh. This map has been released a few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jingping during the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg in South Africa. While the two leaders met and exchanged courtesies, they also spoke about a resolution of the border issue. The emergence 
of this map is viewed as an aberration.

India has always reaffirmed that Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always remain an integral and inalienable part of it. Earlier, in April this year, China had renamed 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh, referring them as Zangnan, the southern part of Tibet. The ties between India and China came under severe  strain following the eastern  Ladakh border row that began in May 2020. The Indian and Chinese troops are locked in an over three-year confrontation in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh even as the two sides completed disengagement from several areas following extensive diplomatic and military talks. India has been consistently maintaining that peace and tranquillity along the LAC.

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The New Indian Express