In the midst of the second edition of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Summit in Beijing, China on Saturday removed a map from the BRI website that depicted the entire Jammu and Kashmir and the North-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of India.
After reports emerged about the map misrepresenting China’s stated position on Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and Arunachal Pradesh, the map was taken off the website of the BRI Forum, being attended by representatives of more than 100 countries.
The map had also portrayed India as part of the BRI Forum although New Delhi has boycotted it since it has projects such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which goes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), thus violating India’s territorial integrity.
India had not participated in the first BRI Summit too in May 2017. Despite Beijing’s efforts for India to at least send a junior level representative to the forum, New Delhi decided to boycott it to express its opposition to the CPEC.
The inclusion of J and K and Arunachal Pradesh in the map by China has surprised Indian officials since Beijing had recently destroyed thousands of maps which showed the North-eastern state as part of India.
China considers Arunachal Pradesh as part of its own territory and refers to it as “Southern Tibet”. Beijing invariably protests visits by any top Indian dignitary to the state. India, however, ignores such protests.