India has expressed its opposition to China’s latest cartographic representation, which was unveiled on August 28. The map, propagated by the Chinese government, provocatively incorporates Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin, and additional sections of Indian land within its own borders.
According to reports, the assertions, dismissed as groundless by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, drew a sharp response from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), characterizing them as obstructive to resolving the ongoing boundary quandary.
In a public statement, the MEA’s spokesperson refuted the baseless claims, affirming that India firmly contests the allegations and has communicated its dissent through diplomatic channels to China. This so-called 2023 “standard map,” disseminated by the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources as part of China’s “National Mapping Awareness Publicity Week,” is anticipated to be followed by digital and navigational iterations, according to Chinese state media.
Following a recent interaction between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, during which discussions about resolving border tensions took place, the contentious map’s appearance has added a new layer of complexity. The map’s release triggered a storm of disapproval from experts on social media platforms and elicited criticism from the opposition Congress party.
In an interview with NDTV, S. Jaishankar, who previously served as India’s Ambassador to China from 2009 to 2013, labeled this as a recurring pattern by the Chinese government. He emphasised t
hat China’s familiar tactic of delineating portions of India’s territory in maps does not alter the ground reality. “Our government’s stance on our territorial integrity is unequivocal. Proposing far-fetched claims does not confer legitimacy to appropriating others’ lands,” stated Jaishankar.
Rahul Gandhi urges PM Modi to address China’s border activities
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to openly discuss China’s actions along the Indian border, in a statement made on Wednesday.
Gandhi stated, “It is imperative for the Prime Minister to provide clarity regarding China’s actions,” emphasizing the need for Modi to address the ongoing border concerns.
Gandhi further accused the Prime Minister of disseminating falsehoods by asserting that China had not encroached upon even a single inch of Ladakh’s territory. He expressed, “I have reiterated for years that the Prime Minister’s assertion, denying any loss of land in Ladakh, is far from the truth. The entire Ladakh region is well aware of China’s transgressions. The issue of the recent map alteration is exceedingly significant. Land has been seized by foreign forces. The Prime Minister should offer his perspective on this matter.”
In related news, there are indications that Chinese President Xi Jinping is poised to participate in the forthcoming G20 leaders’ summit scheduled to take place in New Delhi next week.