BEIJING - China has asked India to “stay calm” as India registered a “strong” diplomatic objection following the release of a map by Beijing which Delhi says asserts ownership over its territory in the Himalayas.
China said that the neighbouring nations should avoid “over-interpreting” the matter after Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan joined India in rejecting the new “standard” map.
On Monday, China’s Ministry of Natural Resources released a map showing the Indian territories of northeastern 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 areas.
Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement that India rejected claims of China’s so-called “standard map”.
On Thursday, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan categorically shot down the legitimacy of the assertions on the map even as Beijing claimed on Thursday that it should be viewed “rationally and objectively”.
“Malaysia does not recognise China’s claims in the South China Sea as outlined in the ‘2023 edition of the standard map of China’ which extends into the Malaysian maritime area,” the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The map has no binding effect on Malaysia.”
The nation said it has filed a diplomatic protest over the map.
The Philippines also called on China “to act responsibly and abide by its obligations” under international law.
“This latest attempt to legitimise China’s purported sovereignty and jurisdiction over Philippine features and maritime zones has no basis under international law,” its foreign ministry said.
Taiwan also remarked on how the map “cannot change the objective fact of our country’s existence”.
Vietnam became the latest country to reject the new China map on Thursday as authorities said that it violates international law.
Meanwhile, Mr Bagchi said earlier: “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.”
“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.
China asserts its sovereignty over the entire region of Arunachal Pradesh in India, referring to it as “South Tibet”, a claim firmly rejected by India. In turn, India claims control over the Aksai Chin plateau in the Himalayas, which is currently under Chinese administration.
Relations between India and China have deteriorated since 2020, following a deadly clash involving their troops at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh.
Media reports suggest that Chinese president Xi Jinping is expected to skip the upcoming G20 leaders’ talks in Delhi next week.