India lodges ‘strong protest’ over new Chinese map ahead of G20 Summit

                                                                                                        VINAY KUMAR
NEW DELHI : As countdown to G20 summit being hosted by India in the national Capital on September 9-10 has begun and finishing touches are being given to all arrangements at war footing, a discordant note has already been struck by China which released the 2023 edition of its so-called “standard map’’ which included Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin region.
China’s latest map comes days ahead of the G20 summit which is being hosted by India in New Delhi as the rotational president of the prestigious global grouping. On Monday, China’s Ministry of Natural Resources released a map showing the Indian territories of north eastern. Arunachal Pradesh and the disputed Aksai Chin area on the western border as Chinese territory. The map also included Taiwan and the entire South China Sea as Chinese area.The diplomatic incident between India and China comes at a crucial time when Delhi will host world leaders from the largest economies of the G20 grouping. Meanwhile, After China’s notorious activity, Rahul Gandhi took a potshot at PM Modi-led Central Govt. Congress Leader reiterated his claim on Union Territory and said, “Entire Ladakh knowns that China has transgressed”.
The formal objection has led to doubts over Xi Jinping’s expected visit to Delhi for the G20 summit set to begin next week and comes in the backdrop of a historic border dispute between the nuclear neighbours that has only strained diplomatic relations between them. Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement that India rejected claims of China’s so-called “standard map”.I “We have today lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels with the Chinese side on the so called 2023 map of China that lays claim to India’s territory,” he said. “We reject these claims as they have no basis. Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question,” he said.
China is yet to comment on the incident.
Incidentally only a few days ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a discussion on the military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh when they met on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit hosted by South Africa in Johannesburg. India was quick to lodge a strong protest with China through diplomatic channels, saying such steps only complicate the resolution of the boundary question.
President of the principal opposition party Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said that India should expose China’s transgression into Indian territory on the global stage during the coming G20 summit. Going a step further, Mr Kharge asked if India should be hosting Xi Jinping when his regime has illegally occupied India’s territory. In a statement, Mr Kharge said: “The Indian territories, including Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai China, are an indistinguishable and inalienable party of India. No arbitrarily invented Chinese map can change that. China is a habitual offender when it comes to renaming and redrawing maps of territories belonging to other countries. The Congress takes strong objection to any such illegal representation or renaming of India’s territories.’’
Chinese President Xi Jinping is also slated to travel to New Delhi for the G20 Summit. Russian President Vladimir Putin is giving a miss to the G20 Summit and Russia will be represented by its foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. Russian President Putin told this to Prime Minister Modi in a phone call earlier this week. The two leaders also discussed bilateral ties and Modi thanked Putin for Russia’s consistent support to all initiatives under India’s G20 Presidency.
Meanwhile, China has responded to India’s objection of its new “standard” map – which claims ownership of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin region in eastern Ladakh – calling it “the normal exercise of sovereignty in accordance with law”. Wang Xiaojian, spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India, shared details of a briefing by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, in which he said, “We hope relevant sides stay objective and calm, and refrain from over-interpreting the issue.”
On the domestic front, G20 Summit has also led to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) sparring over credit for beautifying the national Capital. The summit will be held at Bharat Mandapam at Pragati Maidan which was recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi. The Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi Vinai Saxena has worked tirelessly to beautify and revamp the Capital, his office said. He visited every location where the beautification process was going on. Public Works Department Minister Atishi said the Delhi government has orchestrated a splendid transformation by ensuring cleanliness and installing impressing street art. On the other hand, the local unit of BJP charged the Delhi government with taking credit for the preparations done by the Central government. The local BJP chief Virendra Sachdev said the Central government had spent Rs. 4.064 crore on the G20 Summit as against Rs. 51 crore spent by the AAP government.
The national Capital will witness visits by nearly 40 heads of the government during the G20 summit and all the roads leading to the city from airport have seen beautification by installing theme based fountains and statues, floral and street art, and potted plants dotting major intersections. The government has already declared September 8 to 10 as public holiday and shut government offices. The New Delhi district which is the heart of the city’s business and recreation centre will wear a deserted look as all shops and business and commercial establishments have been ordered to down their shutters.
Elaborate and foolproof security arrangements have been made by the Delhi Police in consultation with other security agencies as motorcades of all the leaders will criss-cross the New Delhi roads during the summit. Security in the hotels where leaders will be staying will see multi-layer deployment of law enforcement personnel.Successful hosting of the G20 Summit will also showcase the organisational capabilities of India as top global leaders will be descending upon the city to attend the summit.
(The writer is a senior journalist based in New Delhi).

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