US govt affirms Arunachal as Indian territory; China slams US interference

In a significant declaration, the US State Department reaffirmed its recognition of Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory and expressed strong opposition to any unilateral efforts to assert territorial...

In a significant declaration, the US State Department reaffirmed its recognition of Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory and expressed strong opposition to any unilateral efforts to assert territorial claims along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This statement, issued on Wednesday, follows recent assertions by the Chinese military regarding Arunachal Pradesh’s status as part of China’s territory.

“The United States recognizes Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory and we strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by incursion or encroachments, military or civilian across the Line of Actual Control,” stated the US State Department.

The pronouncement from Washington comes shortly after Chinese defense ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang labeled the southern part of Xizang (Tibet) as an “inherent part of China’s territory.” Zhang further reiterated China’s stance, emphasizing Beijing’s refusal to acknowledge and its firm opposition against what it referred to as the “so-called Arunachal Pradesh illegally established by India,” as per sources.

This development underscores the ongoing geopolitical tensions surrounding Arunachal Pradesh, a region claimed by both India and China. The US government’s explicit support for India’s territorial integrity in this context signals a notable alignment between Washington and New Delhi on this issue.

The recent inauguration of the Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh by Prime Minister Modi has further exacerbated the situation, drawing sharp responses from Chinese officials.

China slams US interference in India border dispute 

China has strongly criticised the United States for what it perceives as interference in its ongoing border dispute with India, following Washington’s affirmation of Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian condemned the US stance during a press conference in Beijing on Thursday, asserting that the boundary issue between China and India is a bilateral matter and not subject to US involvement.

Arunachal Pradesh, a region claimed by both India and China, has become a focal point in the broader territorial dispute between the two nations. China, referring to the area as Zangnan, asserts that it is part of southern Tibet, while India maintains that Arunachal Pradesh has always been an integral part of its territory.

Spokesperson Vedant Patel emphasised the US opposition to any unilateral actions along the LAC, the demarcation line separating Indian-controlled territory from that controlled by China. In response, China reiterated its claims over Arunachal Pradesh, affirming that Zangnan has always been Chinese territory. Spokesperson Lin Jian also criticised the US for allegedly exploiting conflicts for its geopolitical interests.

Border tensions between the two countries reached a peak in 2020 with a deadly clash that resulted in casualties on both sides. Last year, China’s renaming of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh was strongly opposed by India, further complicating the territorial dispute.

India’s firm stance on Arunachal Pradesh’s sovereignty was reiterated by its foreign ministry, emphasising that the region remains an integral part of India despite China’s claims. The Indian government dismissed China’s assertions as baseless and reaffirmed its commitment to safeguarding its territorial integrity.

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