Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar speaks during a press conference after the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Goa, India, 05 May 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/DIVYAKANT SOLANKI

India reacts sharply to China including disputed territories in new map

New Delhi, Aug 29 (EFE).- India on Tuesday dismissed a new map published by China as an “absurd claim” in which Beijing has included the disputed regions between the two countries as its own territory.

“Putting out a map does not mean anything. These territories are very much a part of India,” India’s external affairs minister S. Jaishankar said a day after China officially released its new edition of “standard map.”

“We are very clear what our territories are. Making absurd claims does not make other people’s territories yours,” Jaishankar said in an interview with local broadcaster NDTV.

He said Chinese officials have issued such maps in the past as well, where they have claimed territories that do not belong to them.

India’s reaction comes a day after China on Monday officially released the “2023 edition of China’s standard map” on government websites, in which it claimed some disputed regions along the border as its own territory.

Specifically, the map included the India-administered northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of China. Beijing claims the state since its creation in 1947.

Additionally, the new map also incorporates the disputed Aksai Chin region, which has been under Chinese administration since the 1962 war between the two nations.

In this regard, India on Tuesday “lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels with the Chinese side on the so-called 2023 ‘standard map’ of China that lays claim to India’s territory,” foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.

“We reject these claims as they have no basis. Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question,” he added

Bilateral relations between the world’s two most populous countries have recently been at their lowest in decades, despite diplomatic efforts and numerous rounds of military talks to de-escalate tension along the poorly demarcated 3,800-kilometers border.

Last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in South Africa, where they agreed to expedite negotiations aimed at de-escalating tensions along the border.

In June 2020, at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed in a border clash in Ladakh region of the western Himalayas, marking the worst confrontation between the two nuclear-armed nations in 45 years.

In April this year, China and India engaged in an angry exchange of words, after China “renamed” 11 places in the Arunachal Pradesh region. EFE