US backs India on Arunachal Pradesh, slams China's advance territorial claims
Amid the standoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China, the United States on Thursday said that it has recognised the state of Arunachal Pradesh as India's territory for nearly six decades and strongly opposes any unilateral attempts of advancing claim over it, indirectly targeting China.
A US State Department senior official during a Foreign Press Center briefing said, "We have our position on some parts of the border for sure is explicitly clear. For nearly six decades the US has recognized Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory. We strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by incursions, by military or civilian incursions across the established LAC."
"For the disputed boundaries, all we can say is that we encourage India and China to use their existing bilateral channels to discuss those and not resort to military force," the official mentioned.
Giving an update on the India-US bilateral relations, the senior official said, "At a time when India is facing substantial security challenges, the growth in our defence partnership is exceptionally important. This partnership includes defence sales, particularly our offers of advanced US weapon systems, as a demonstration of our commitment to India's security and sovereignty."
The official also noted that the US is looking forward to the 2+2 ministerial meet later this year. "There is virtually no dimension of both countries' national power that's not going to be addressed in some way through the 2+2 dialogue that we have.”
Meanwhile, India on Tuesday rejected China's "so-called unilaterally defined" LAC of 1959 and asked the neighbouring country to refrain from advancing an "untenable" interpretation of the de-facto border.
The assertion by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) came in response to comments by a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson that China continues to follow its 1959 stand on the perception of the LAC.