Wednesday, April 17, 2024

US recognises Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory; China sees red


Washington: The US 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, a senior Biden administration official has said, days after the Chinese military reiterated its claim over the state following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit there.

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.

On March 9, Prime Minister 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.

Speaking at his daily press conference in Washington on Wednesday, State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel 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.” India has repeatedly rejected China’s territorial claims over Arunachal Pradesh, asserting that the state is an integral part of the country. New Delhi has also dismissed Beijing’s move to assign “invented” names to the area, saying it did not alter the reality.

India’s 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.

Earlier this week, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang said 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”.

In Beijing, in response to a question by a state-run media outlet on the US backing India on the issue of Arunachal Pradesh, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said that China strongly deplores and firmly opposes this.

“The China-India boundary has never been delimited. Zangnan is China’s territory, a basic fact that is undeniable,” spokesperson Lin Jian said on Thursday.

“The China-India boundary question is a matter between the two countries and has nothing to do with the US side. It is known to all that the US has consistently spared no efforts to provoke and take advantage of other countries’ conflicts to serve its selfish geopolitical interests,” he said.


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