India has conveyed a strong protest to China regarding an unveiled map that asserts ownership over Indian territory.
The map, made public by China’s ministry of natural resources on Monday (28), shows the disputed Aksai Chin plateau and the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of China’s territory, the BBC reported.
India’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, said India rejects these claims as they are baseless.
Bagchi emphasised that such actions by China serve to further complicate the resolution of the boundary issue between the two countries.
Notably, there has been no official response from Beijing yet.
Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar denounced China’s assertion as “absurd.”
He pointed out China’s historical habit of releasing maps that lay claim to territories belonging to other nations.
This stance was expressed during an interview with TV channel NDTV.
The Indian government’s protest comes shortly after prime minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping engaged in discussions on the margins of the Brics summit in South Africa.
Following this interaction, an Indian official noted that both nations had agreed to enhance efforts for swift disengagement and de-escalation along the disputed border.
The source of tension between India and China originates from a 3,440km-long de facto border in the Himalayas, known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which is inadequately demarcated due to the presence of geographical features like rivers, lakes, and snowcaps. This leads to potential shifts in the border’s location.
Confrontations between soldiers on either side are frequent, occasionally sparking tensions.
The most recent incident occurred in December when Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the town of Tawang.
China asserts a claim over the entirety of Arunachal Pradesh, referring to it as “South Tibet.”
India firmly rejects this assertion and, in turn, lays claim to the Aksai Chin plateau, controlled by China.
In a previous incident that occurred in April, China’s attempt to rename 11 locations in Arunachal Pradesh was met with strong opposition from India, affirming that the state remains an integral and inseparable part of India.
Relations between India and China have deteriorated since 2020, notably marked by a deadly clash involving their troops in the Galwan valley of Ladakh.
This encounter marked the first lethal confrontation between the two sides since 1975.