Amid simmering border tensions, the United States on Thursday came down heavily on China over its territorial claims on Arunachal Pradesh, warning the Communist Party of China government against attempts to "advance territorial claims".
During a briefing on India-US relationship, a senior State Department official said that the United States has recognized Arunachal Pradesh as "Indian territory" over the past six decades.
"We strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by incursions, by military or civilian incursions across the border or across the established line of actual control (LAC)," the senior State Department official told media in a virtual briefing.
Arunachal Pradesh border conflicts
The statement from the United States comes after Beijing provoked India by claiming that it never recognised Arunachal Pradesh as part of India.
China has been saying that the northeastern state is a part of China's south Tibet region', a claim which experts say fall in line with its expansionist policies. "China has never recognized so-called Arunachal Pradesh, which is China's south Tibet region," the Chinese government-run Global Times quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian as saying last month.
India has time and again rejected China's frivolous claims about Arunachal Pradesh, reiterating that the region is an integral part of India and has suggested the neighboring country to refrain from making such statements.
US backs India on border conflicts
In the recent past, the United States has been supporting India on the issue of border tensions with China along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.
During the briefing, the State Department official said the boundary dispute should be resolved through talks, something India has been advocating and has underlined its importance in maintaining peace in South Asia.
Last month, news reports said that five youths from Arunachal Pradesh were abducted by the troops of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) which later said that they were found by the force on the Chinese side and were handed over to India.
Since April this year, India and China have been locked in a bitter tension over incursion into Indian territory by PLA troops in Ladakh and some other areas along the LAC. The tensions skyrocketed after 20 Indian soldiers fell defending on the line of duty in clashes with PLA troops in Galwan Valley on June 15.
While India paid its heartfelt tribute to the martyrs with hundreds thronging to their funerals despite strict COVID rules, China simply did not recognize the death of its soldiers. According to reports, over 40 Chinese soldiers were killed in the clashes.