The United States Senate on Thursday introduced a resolution to recognise Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of India, pushing back against Beijing’s military aggression to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control.
Additional Chinese provocations are condemned in the resolution, including China’s use of military force to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control, the construction of villages in contested areas, the publication of maps with Mandarin-language names for cities and features in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, and the expansion of Beijing’s territorial claims in Bhutan.
The resolution says that China stated Arunachal Pradesh as its own territory, ‘which it calls South Tibet’, and has invoked these claims as part of its increasingly aggressive and expansionist policies.
The United States recognises the state of Arunachal Pradesh not as a disputed territory but as an integral part of the Republic of India, and this recognition is not qualified in any way, says the bipartisan resolution introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, and Bill Hagerty, a Republican.
Senator John Cornyn, Co-Chair of the India Caucus, has co-sponsored the resolution.
The Senate resolution reaffirms that the US recognises the McMahon Line as the international boundary between China and the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, in response to Chinese claims that Arunachal Pradesh is its territory, which is part of Beijing’s increasingly aggressive and expansionist policies.
America’s values supporting freedom and a rules-based order must be at the centre of all of our actions and relationships around the world especially as the PRC (People’s Republic of China) government pushes an alternative vision, said Merkley, who serves as the Co-Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
This resolution makes clear that the US 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, Merkley said.
The resolution commends India for taking steps to defend itself against aggression and security threats from China.
These efforts include securing India’s telecommunications infrastructure; examining its procurement processes and supply chains; implementing investment screening standards; and expanding its cooperation with Taiwan in public health and other sectors.
The resolution serves to strengthen the US-India bilateral partnership regarding defence, technology, economics, and people-to-people ties and promotes enhancing America’s multilateral cooperation with India through the Quad, the East Asia Summit alongside its partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and other international fora.
Arunachal Pradesh is home to the Tawang Monastery and is the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso; the resolution states that China has raised diplomatic objections to the Dalai Lama and other leaders visiting Arunachal Pradesh and has refused to grant residents of the Indian state visas for travel to China.