‘Routine Practice’: Dragon Defends New Map; Asks India Not to ‘Over-interpret’ It

Facing backlash over its “standard map” for 2023, China on Wednesday downplayed the controversy calling it a “routine practice” and urged India to “stay objective and calm” and refrain from “over-interpreting” the issue.

India has rejected claims by China over Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin in its latest map and lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels with the neighbouring country.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin while asked for reaction to India’s diplomatic protest by a Chinese state-run outlet, told a media briefing in Beijing on Wednesday that “on August 23, the Ministry of National Resources of China released the 2023 edition of the standard map”.

Wang added, “It is a routine practice in China’s exercise of sovereignty in accordance with the law. We hope relevant sides can stay objective and calm, and refrain from over-interpreting the issue.”

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in a statement, on Tuesday said such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question.

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

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also slammed China for making “absurd” claims and said it does not change anything.

“China has put out maps with territories (that are) not theirs. (It is an) old habit. Just by putting out maps with parts of India… this doesn’t change anything. Our government is very clear about what our territory. Making absurd claims does not make other people’s territories yours,” the EAM told NDTV.

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Notably, the release of the controversial Chinese Map comes just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Xi Jinping at the BRICS Summit in South Africa. Apart from Arunachal Pradesh, the map reflects Chinese claims over the Aksai Chin region, Taiwan and the disputed South China Sea.

India has repeatedly said that the state of Arunachal Pradesh has “always been” and will “always be” an integral part of the country.

The 2023 edition of China’s standard map was officially released on Monday and launched on the website of the standard map service hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources, state-run Global Times said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. This map is compiled based on the drawing method of the national boundaries of China and various countries in the world, the post said.