Places in Arunachal Pradesh renamed by China have links to Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama and Tibet, says Expert

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Dalai Lama, Wikimedia

New Delhi, April 25, 2017: Recently, China has renamed most of the six places in Arunachal Pradesh, but surprisingly, all these places have some significance related to the Dalai Lama or Tibet, a China expert said on Sunday.

This is only an attempt to show China’s severe displeasure to India for allowing the Dalai Lama to visit the Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh and address religious congregations there, said Srikanth Kondapalli, a professor of Chinese studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, mentioned PTI report.

Earlier this week, China given has a new name- Wo’gyainling to Guling Gompa, which is located on the outskirts of Tawang. This is the place where the sixth Dalai Lama was born.

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In Upper Subansiri district, Daporijo town was named Mila Ri. The town is located beside the river Subansiri, which is one of the principal rivers of Arunachal Pradesh as well as a major tributary of the Brahmaputra river.

Prof. Kondapalli said this place has been used by people from Tibet to enter into India and was a corridor that has not seen a military presence from either side for many years.

Challenging India’s claim

Renaming of Mechuka as Mainquka was to question India’s claim on the area as it is strategically located with heavy military presence, said Prof Kondapalli. The Indian Air Force maintains an Advanced Landing Ground there, which is located in West Siang district.

Bumla, the place where the Dalai Lama made his first stopover during his April 4-13 visit to Arunachal Pradesh, has also been renamed by the Chinese as Bumola.

According to the PTI report, Prof. Kondapalli said this area was invaded in 1962 by the Chinese troops who were subsequently pushed back by the Indian Army.

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Namaka Chu area has been renamed as Namkapub Ri, also the area has a huge possibility for hydro-electricity, he added. China is renamed the sixth place as Qoidengarbo Ri area but it is not clear which place in Arunachal Pradesh it refers to.

Besides hydro-electricity, these areas also have a huge potential for agriculture and fisheries. In the 1980s, all these places gained prominence, when numerous Chinese strategic scholars started mentioning about them in their writings, saying these places could solve problems related to electricity as well as vegetation in Tibet, he added.

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These lush areas are capable of producing vast quantities of food. The Chinese scholars mentioned these areas as the “apple of the eye” of the Tibet region, but these are generally dry, said Prof. Kondapalli.

He said this was part of a trend started by China of giving names to their claims — specifically the islands in the South China Sea where it has conflicting claims with South-East Asian countries, mentioned PTI.

Prof. Kondapalli proposed that India can hit back at China by renaming Aksai Chin and Mansarovar areas, which are under Chinese occupation but claimed by India.

– prepared by Ananya Banerjee of NewsGram, Twitter: @bannerjee_ananya