On Friday, a senior US State Department official had dismissed the claims of the Chinese regime on India’s territory of Arunachal Pradesh. The development comes as a major breakthrough amidst the ongoing border standoff between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
On being asked by a reporter about the diplomatic position of the United States with respect to the current Chinese aggression, the senior State Department official stated that they are closely monitoring the escalated situation at the border. While conceding that the discussion of the position of the ‘actual border’ is sensitive, he added, “Our position on some parts of the border for sure is explicitly clear. For nearly six decades the United States has recognized Arunachal Pradesh is Indian territory.”
US calls out China on its attempt to advance territorial claims
The senior State Department official also pointed out the unilateral attempts made by China to undermine India’s territorial integrity. He further emphasised, “We strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by incursions, by military or civilian incursions across the border or across the established line of actual control. And the disputed boundaries, all we can say is that we encourage India and China to use their existing bilateral channels to discuss those and not resort to military force.”
India has been a victim of Chinese hostility, concedes US State Department
Furthermore, the official stated that achieving peace in the Indo-Pacific region was the common objective of both India and the United States. “Well, the United States maintains a – has a vision and a commitment to a peaceful, open Indo-Pacific region and I’d say that stands in marked contrast to the activities of the People’s Republic of China,” he reiterated.
While acknowledging India’s victimisation at the hands of aggressor China, the US State Department remarked, “You just have to open your internet browser to see all of the various areas where China has engaged in aggressive, hostile, or bullying behaviour against its neighbours or against its own citizens. Unfortunately, India has also been one of the victims of that. ”
USA State Department takes a stand on Galwan Valley clash
Earlier, the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) of the US State Department in its statement mentioned the recent stand-off at Galwan and called it the result of the expansionist policy of China. In the statement, USA said, “We see it in the East China Sea and around Taiwan, where Beijing has expanded its maritime provocations and threatening sorties. We see it in the Himalayas, where Beijing recently took aggressive action on its frontiers with India.”
It further added, “We see it along the Mekong River, where Beijing has used its massive cascade of dams to hold back water from downstream neighbours in Southeast Asia, contributing to the worst drought in the Mekong’s recorded history. I urge everyone to read the recent report from the Stimson Center, “New Evidence: How China Turned Off the Tap on the Mekong River.”
Clashes between India and China at the LAC
Clashes between the two countries have occurred along the Line of Actual Control raising fears of serious conflict breaking out between the two countries. Only recently, the Indian Army had made major breakthroughs and occupied six new heights along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. This was after India had acted proactively to occupy heights in regions on the Southern Bank of the Pangong Tso lake and strengthened their positions. Talks between the two countries have been ongoing but without any major headway.