BEIJING: Beijing on Friday dismissed New Delhi's protest over its decision to rename six places in Arunachal Pradesh, which China considers to be a disputed territory, saying "it is a legitimate measure."
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told media: "China's position on the eastern section of the India-China boundary is clear and consistent. Relevant names have been used by ethnic Momba and Tibetan Chinese who have lived here for generations. So it is a fact that cannot be changed."
He added that to standardise these names and publicise them is a legitimate measure based on its lawful right.
Meanwhile Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said yesterday: "Renaming or inventing names of states of your neighbour does not make illegal occupation legal."
China based Global Times reported on Wednesday that the country's Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on April 14 that it had standardised in Chinese characters, Tibetan, and Roman alphabet, the names of six places in 'South Tibet', which is the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, in accordance with the regulations of the central government.
The Chinese move is being seen as a retaliation to India allowing exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to visit Arunachal Pradesh despite Beijing's repeated protests.