Beijing: China said Friday that it was its "lawful right" to standardize official names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh, while its state-run media warned that India will pay "dearly" if it continues to play the Dalai Lama card.
"China's position on the eastern section of the India- China boundary is clear and consistent," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said here reacting to India's assertion that Arunachal Pradesh is integral part of India.
"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. To standardize these names and publicize them is a legitimate measure based on our lawful right," he said.
Lu also countered India's charge that China is inventing names to make its territorial claims over the area legal.
India Thursday hit out at China for giving Chinese names to six areas of Arunachal Pradesh, saying assigning invented names to towns of the neighbor does not make illegal territorial claims legal.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay also asserted that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.
However, Lu did not react to union minister Venkaiah Naidu's remarks that Arunachal Pradesh has got an elected government.
Earlier, the Global Times, in an op-ed article, said India will pay "dearly" if it continues the "petty game" of playing the Dalai Lama card and dismissed as "absurd" New Delhi's reaction to Beijing renaming six places in Arunachal Pradesh.