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In a tit-for-tat move, India is set to rename over two dozen locations within China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. This action comes in response to China’s recent renaming of places in India’s Arunachal Pradesh state.

The list of targeted locations for renaming, obtained by The Diplomat from Indian military sources, is expected to be officially announced by the new Indian government formed next week following the recent national elections.

Analysts believe this move is driven by Prime Minister Modi’s desire to project a strong image, particularly on border disputes. “Given his campaign focus on strength, authorizing the renaming is a natural step,” says Benu Ghosh, a retired Intelligence Bureau officer with extensive experience on China and the India-China border issue.

India suspects China’s renaming of locations in Arunachal Pradesh is a deliberate attempt to solidify its territorial claim on the region, which China refers to as Zangnan or “southern Tibet.”

The Indian Army’s information warfare division is spearheading this effort. They have conducted historical research, collaborating with prestigious institutions like the Asiatic Society in Kolkata, to challenge the legitimacy of China’s newly assigned names. The army has also actively debunked these names through detailed tweets under their official logo. This counter-offensive aims to address all 30 locations renamed by China.

The renaming strategy highlights the escalating tensions between India and China over disputed border territories. While the effectiveness of this approach remains to be seen, it signifies a rising assertiveness from India in its response to China’s actions.