NewsUS stands with India in border dispute with China, drawing sharp reactions from Beijing

US stands with India in border dispute with China, drawing sharp reactions from Beijing

Primary school students hold a five-star red flag and cheer "I love my motherland" in yangzhou, east China's jiangsu province, Sept. 2, 2019.
- PHOTOGRAPH BY Costfoto / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Costfoto / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Primary school students hold a five-star red flag and cheer "I love my motherland" in yangzhou, east China's jiangsu province, Sept. 2, 2019. - PHOTOGRAPH BY Costfoto / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Costfoto / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Images source: © GETTY | Barcroft Media
3:44 PM EDT, March 22, 2024

In a move that has escalated tensions in the long-standing border dispute between India and China, the United States made a firm stance by recognizing Arunachal Pradesh, a contested region, as part of Indian territory. This declaration came amid growing concerns over China's territorial ambitions, sparking a strong condemnation from Beijing.

China criticizes US intervention

The Chinese government expressed discontent and opposition towards the US's involvement in the matter, emphasizing that the dispute over the boundary should remain a bilateral issue between India and China. Lin Jian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, voiced Beijing's objections, stating, "China strongly deplores and firmly opposes this. The China-India boundary question is between the two countries and has nothing to do with the U.S. side."

Background

The controversy intensified after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a strategic tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh, a region claimed by China as part of southern Tibet and referred to as Zangnan. This development led the US State Department to publicly reject China’s "unilateral attempts" to assert its claims over the territory, thereby siding with India.

"The United States recognizes 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," stated Vedant Patel, a spokesperson for the US State Department. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) acts as the de facto border separating Chinese and Indian-controlled territories.

China's unwavering claim

Despite international and regional dynamics, China maintained its claim over Arunachal Pradesh. Lin Jian reiterated, "Zangnan has always been China’s territory, an undeniable basic fact." He also accused the US of exploiting global conflicts for its geopolitical gains, a sentiment that echoes China's longstanding critique of American foreign policy.

Recent Tensions and Future Implications

This issue comes against the backdrop of increasing military tensions along the India-China border, including a deadly clash in 2020. Modi's inauguration of the "Sela Tunnel" in Arunachal Pradesh, marked as a significant infrastructure achievement, has only added to the strife, with China reasserting its claim to the territory.

The US's position reflects a significant evolution in India-US relations, showing a willingness to support India even in sensitive territorial disputes. This development may influence the geopolitical landscape in Asia, potentially affecting future negotiations and the regional balance of power.

Source: CNBC; Reuters

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