US’ strong statement after China’s claim over Arunachal Pradesh, backs India

Joe Biden administration said it recognises Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory and strongly opposes any unilateral attempts by China.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden, in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI)

The United States said it recognises Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory and strongly opposes any unilateral attempts by China to advance its territorial claims across the Line of Actual Control.

Days after the Chinese military reiterated its claim over Arunachal Pradesh following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit there, state department principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel, at his daily press conference on Wednesday, said, “The United States recognises Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory and we strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by incursions or encroachments, military or civilian, across the Line of Actual Control.”

The statement from the Joe Biden administration came after Chinese defence ministry spokesman senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang earlier this week claimed that the southern part of Xizang (the Chinese name for Tibet) is an inherent part of China’s territory, and Beijing “never acknowledges and firmly opposes” the “so-called Arunachal Pradesh illegally established by India”.

China, which claims Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet, routinely objects to Indian leaders’ visits to the state to highlight its claims. Beijing has also named the area Zangnan.

India has repeatedly rejected China’s territorial claims over Arunachal Pradesh, stating that the northeastern state is an integral part of the country. New Delhi has dismissed Beijing’s move to assign “invented” names to the area, saying it did not alter the reality.

The ministry of external affairs on Tuesday said it has noted the latest comments made by the spokesperson of the Chinese defence ministry “advancing absurd claims” over the territory of Arunachal Pradesh and asserted that the state “was, is and will always be” an integral and inalienable part of India.

On March 9, Modi dedicated to the nation the Sela Tunnel built at an altitude of 13,000 feet in Arunachal Pradesh that will provide all-weather connectivity to strategically located Tawang and is expected to ensure better movement of troops along the frontier region.

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