Beijing's tensions with New Delhi have continued into the new year after a Chinese flag was raised in the disputed Galwan Valley in Ladakh.
A video of People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers sending a New Year 'message' to India and raising a Chinese flag in Galwan Valley was initially shared by Global Times on Chinese social-media platform. Shen Shiwei, a Chinese journalist, tweeted that the flag raised in Galwan was "special" since it had been flown over Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
The video shows a flag-raising ceremony, under the characters "Never yield an inch of land." The PLA soldiers sent their new year greetings to the Chinese people saying: "We pledge to the motherland that we will guard the border."
Beijing wanted to let New Delhi know that the border stand-off is far from over, according to The Print.
Meanwhile, the Indian Defense Ministry announced on Friday that the Indian Army has reorganized its units along the Chinese border to accommodate the People's Liberation Army's troop and infrastructure build-up along Indian frontiers.
"Force levels in areas where disengagement has yet to take place have been adequately enhanced. Threat assessment and internal deliberations have resulted in reorganization and realignment of forces in keeping with the Army's mandate of ensuring territorial integrity and to cater for the major augmentation of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) forces and military infrastructure," the ministry stated in its year-end review.
If the video of Chinese soldiers raising a flag wasn't enough, the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs issued a notice this past week about using the 'correct' place name for 15 locations in Arunachal Pradesh, The Print said.
Out of the 15 locations, eight are residential areas, four mountains, two rivers and the well-known Sela mountain pass in Arunachal Pradesh. China refers to Arunachal Pradesh as "Southern Tibet".
"In accordance with the relevant regulations of the State Council on the management of geographical names, our ministry and relevant departments have standardized some geographical names in Southern Tibet. The second batch of publicly-used place names in southern Tibet (15 in total) is now officially announced," said the notification by the ministry.
India on Thursday rejected China renaming some places in Arunachal Pradesh and asserted that the state has "always been" and will "always be" an integral part of India as assigning "invented" names does not alter this fact.
"We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has attempted such a renaming of places in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. China had also sought to assign such names in April 2017," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
China builds a village in disputed territory
Renaming of names in the Chinese language follows reports that China has established villages on the disputed border in Arunachal Pradesh. China has built a large 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between the Tibet Autonomous Region and India's Arunachal Pradesh, said the US Department of Defense in its annual report to Congress on military and security developments involving China.
The Pentagon November 2021 report titled "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China," said "sometime in 2020, the PRC built a large 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between the PRC's Tibet Autonomous Region and India's Arunachal Pradesh state in the eastern sector of the LAC. These and other infrastructure development efforts along the India-China have been a source of consternation in the Indian government and media."
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