The US is clear that Arunachal Pradesh is a part of India. Why doesn’t it take a stand on Aksai Chin?

Source– The post is based on the article “The US is clear that Arunachal Pradesh is a part of India. Why doesn’t it take a stand on Aksai Chin?” published in “The Indian Express” on 18th March 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Bilateral groupings

Relevance– Border dispute between India and China

News– Recently, a Democratic Senator introduced a resolution in the US Senate on February 16 reaffirming the state of Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory and condemning China’s provocations in South Asia.

What are the important points contained in resolution?

The latest Resolution also covers recent military provocations and aggressions by the PLA on LAC. It mentions the Chinese villages constructed along the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh.

It also underlines China’s questionable narrative on the visits by the Dalai Lama and other leaders to Arunachal Pradesh and China’s refusal to grant residents of the Indian state visas for travel to China.

It accuses China of impeding poverty alleviation and economic development in Arunachal Pradesh as its behaviour compels many international donors to be cautious of helping.

What is the position of the US on the boundary dispute between India and China?

The US position on Arunachal Pradesh has been helpful since 1962. The United States at that time announced that it recognised the McMahon Line as the traditional and generally accepted international border and fully supported India’s position in that regard.

The US was of the view that China by military action had taken territory belonging to India. Its policy was that any settlement must be accepted by India with honour.

The US felt this Chinese aggression provided an unprecedented opportunity to win over India to its side.

Official US maps depict Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of India. At the same time, Washington’s position on the India-China boundary issue is far from perfect.

The US Department of State’s international travel advisory maps clearly show Aksai Chin and some other parts of the western sector as disputed.

The US has an ambiguous stand even today on the boundary dispute in Ladakh. It limits the possibility of ground-level cooperation between India and the US in the western sector.

The US position of neutrality on the India-China boundary dispute over Aksai Chin contradicts its supportive position on the McMahon Line in Arunachal Pradesh.

What are some facts about the India and China boundary dispute?

China is in illegal occupation of 38,000 sq km of Indian territory in Ladakh and has usurped a further 5,180 sq km of Indian territory in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.

China Qing dynasty presence in Tibet began to emerge around 1720, following intervention in the internecine succession struggle after the death of the Sixth Dalai Lama (1683-1706).

There is no basis to the Chinese claim over Tawang on the flimsy grounds that it is the birthplace of the Sixth Dalai Lama.

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