“We must strike”: Fury as new China map lays claim to entire Indian state
China has sparked fury from within India after an official new China map, published by state media, showed the entire Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh in Chinese territory.
The map was shared by Chinese state media outlets, the Global Times and China Daily.
China Daily says the map was released by China’s Ministry of Natural Resources. The Ministry’s Chief Planner, Wu Wenzhong, was quoted saying the following.
“Wu Wenzhong said surveying, mapping and geographic information play an important role in boosting the development of the nation, meeting the needs of all walks of life, supporting the management of natural resources, and helping the construction of ecology and civilization.
“The next step will be to accelerate the application of geographic information data such as digital maps and navigation and positioning in the development of the digital economy, such as location-based services, precision agriculture, platform economy and intelligent connected vehicles.”
Along with the state of Arunachal Pradesh in India’s north east, a closer look at the new China map also shows Beijing has laid claim to the disputed remote desert region of Aksai Chin on the eastern reaches of the India-administered Jammu and Kashmir region.
Aksai Chin is of no economic significance, however the region is of strategic importance as it connects the Chinese provinces of Tibet and Xinjiang. China has held influence in the region for many years.
Aksai Chin also has a history of military conflict, dating back to Napoleon.
Calls for “surgical strike” following new China map release
On Tuesday, Indian officials condemned the release of the map as the issue dominated Indian television news bulletins.
Member of Parliament, Sanjay Raut urged Prime Minister Modi to take action.
“He went to the BRICS Summit recently and met with the Chinese Premier. Now this map has come out, so he should be asked this question,” he said.
“China is attempting to enter Arunachal Pradesh, if you (Modi) have courage, launch a surgical strike on China.”
It unclear if Raut’s calls referred to military action against China.
The tensions come just days before the beginning of the 2023 G20 Leaders Summit being held in New Delhi.