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‘Arunachal Pradesh a part of India, not China: US Senators introduce a bill, recognize McMohan line as the international border between India, China

The resolution staunchly rejects China's claims that Arunachal Pradesh is their territory, which is a result of the its increasingly aggressive and expansionist policies. It affirms that the United States recognizes the McMahon Line as the international border between China and the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

A bipartisan Senate resolution reaffirming the United States’ recognition of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as an essential component of the Republic of India was introduced on Friday in collaboration among Republican Senator Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

This motion is in reference to the fight between China and India along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Sector. Senator Merkley, who serves as the Co-Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China stated that America’s values supporting freedom and a rules-based order must be at the centre of all of their actions and relationships around the world, especially when China pushes an alternative vision.

“This resolution makes clear that the United States views the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of the Republic of India–not the People’s Republic of China–and commits the US to deepen support and assistance to the region, alongside like-minded international partners and donors,” he added.

Meanwhile Senator Hagerty stated that it is important for the US to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with its strategic partners in the region–especially India when China continues to pose grave and gathering threats to the Free and Open Indo-Pacific. “This bipartisan resolution expresses the Senate’s support for unequivocally recognizing the state of Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of India, condemning China’s military aggression to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control, and further enhancing the U.S.-India strategic partnership and the Quad in support of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” he confirmed.

The resolution staunchly rejects China’s claims that Arunachal Pradesh is its territory, which is a result of its increasingly aggressive and expansionist policies. It affirms that the United States recognizes the McMahon Line as the international border between China and the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

According to the reports, the senators’ resolution denounces further China’s provocations which include the use of military force to alter the status quo along the Line of Actual Control, the building of villages in disputed areas, the publication of maps with Chinese language names for cities and other features in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, and also the expansion of PRC territorial claims in Bhutan.

Further, the resolution lauds the Indian government for taking measures to safeguard itself from the People’s Republic of China’s aggressiveness and security threats. These initiatives include safeguarding India’s telecom infrastructure, investigating its supply chains and procurement processes, placing investment screening requirements in place, and increasing its collaboration with Taiwan in the public health and other fields.

The resolution advocates increasing country’s multilateral collaboration with India through the Quad, the East Asia Summit with its allies in the Association of Southeast Asian States (ASEAN), and other global fora. It also serves to further improve the US-India bilateral engagement concerning military, technology, economy, and people-to-people connections.

It was recently reported that the Indian government is seeking to build a 78-km strategic road in its easternmost village of Arunachal Pradesh, reaching as close as 4 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC), near the crucial tri-junction of India, China, and Myanmar.

On February 1, the Centre embarked on the construction of a new road connecting Dong village to Jachep camp in Arunachal Pradesh by inviting bids with a deadline of three years. The road holds importance as Dong is India’s easternmost village and the new highway will reach Jachep, situated 4 km from China and 20 km from Myanmar’s borders.

China on many instances has indulged in cheap diplomatic tactics to exhibit its hegemony over the state of Arunachal Pradesh. In the last few years, Indian and Chinese Armed forces have locked horns in the forward positions along the border in Arunachal Pradesh. In December 2022, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh announced that Chinese soldiers tried to cross the LAC in the Tawang sector’s Yangtze area to unilaterally alter the status quo but were driven back by Indian troops’ prompt response.

Before that, in October 2021, a large contingent of Chinese forces tried to violate the LAC at Yangtze, resulting in a major confrontation between the two sides. It reportedly culminated in the temporary detainment of Chinese troops in the region. The Chinese soldiers also attempted to destroy some unoccupied bunkers at the Bum La and Yangtze border crossing near the Arunachal Pradesh LAC.

India and China have taken part in 21 rounds of talks over the so-called dispute. The same issue was also one of the prime reason for the 1962 Indo-China war, which had left many Indian soldiers martyred. China currently also has territorial disputes with other countries like Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines.

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