Lu Kang’s Regular Press Conference on April 19, 2017
Q: The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs said on April 14 that it has come up with new standardized names for six places in “Arunashal Pradesh”. What is the reason for this issuing of the standardized names? Is this a response to the Dalai Lama’s visit to that place? Chinese media also reported that the renaming would help China’s position in its boundary talks with India. Can you comment on that?
A: With regard to the Indian government going ahead and allowing the 14th Dalai Lama to visit the controversial eastern part of the China-India boundary, our solemn position on that has been repeated multiple times. You must be very clear with it, so today I will not repeat it.
I also have seen the notice put up by the Ministry of Civil Affairs. China holds a consistent and clear position on the eastern section of the China-India boundary. The competent authorities in charge of managing China’s geographical names were exercising their lawful rights in publicly releasing these names in accordance with Regulations on the Management of Geographical Names and relevant regulations of the State Council. It is legitimate and appropriate. These names are passed down by ethnic minority groups like Menba and Zang who have long been living and working in the region, and they have been calling these places as such for generations. These names reflect from another angle that China’s territorial claim over South Tibet is supported by clear evidence in terms of history, culture and administration.
Q: Further to what you said about the standardization of the names for the “Arunachal Pradesh”, why has it taken so long for China to do this? The timing of this coincides with China’s protest over the Dalai Lama’s visit to these areas. Can you clarify whether this is a retaliatory response to India?
A: I can repeat for you that the Chinese government firmly objects to the Indian government allowing the 14th Dalai Lama to carry out anti-China separatist activities in disputed eastern section of the China-India boundary, and we have clearly pointed out that by doing this, the Indian side violated the solemn pledges it once made to China.
As for the timing of the announcement for these standardized names, in fact, I can tell you here that the Chinese government is conducting the second nationwide survey on geographical names, an important task of which is to standardize the geographical names in the languages of ethnic minority groups. Going forward, relevant authorities will step up their research and verification on geographical names recorded in Zang language. More standardized names will be released when the time and condition is right.