United States Senators Bill Hagerty (Republican Senator of Tennessee) and Jeff Merkley (Democrat Senator of Oregon) have introduced a bipartisan Senate resolution reaffirming the United States’ recognition of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of the Republic of India.
The resolution comes following the biggest clash between the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the Eastern Sector along the Line of Actual Control in six years.
“At a time when China continues to pose grave and gathering threats to the Free and Open Indo-Pacific, it’s critical for the United States to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our strategic partners in the region—especially India,” said Senator Hagerty.
“This bipartisan resolution expresses the Senate’s support for unequivocally recognizing the state of Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of India, condemning China’s military aggression to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control, and further enhancing the U.S.-India strategic partnership and the Quad in support of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”
“America’s values supporting freedom and a rules-based order must be at the center of all of our actions and relationships around the world—especially as the PRC government pushes an alternative vision,” said Senator Merkley.
“This resolution makes clear that the United States views the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of the Republic of India—not the People’s Republic of China—and commits the U.S. to deepening support and assistance to the region, alongside like-minded international partners and donors.”
The resolution reaffirms that the United States recognizes the McMahon Line as the international boundary between the People’s Republic of China and the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, and pushes back against PRC claims that Arunachal Pradesh is PRC territory, which is a part of the PRC’s increasingly aggressive and expansionist policies.
The Senators’ resolution condemns additional PRC provocations, including the People’s Republic of China’s use of military force to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control, construction of villages in contested areas, publication of maps with Mandarin-language names for cities and feature in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, and expansion of PRC territorial claims in Bhutan.
Furthermore, the resolution commends the Indian government for taking steps to defend itself against aggression and security threats from the People’s Republic of China. These efforts include securing India’s telecommunications infrastructure; examining its procurement processes and supply chains; implementing investment screening standards; and expanding its cooperation with Taiwan in public health and other sectors.
The resolution serves to further strengthen the U.S.-India bilateral partnership regarding defense, technology, economics, and people-to-people ties and promotes enhancing our multilateral cooperation with India through the Quad, the East Asia Summit alongside our partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and other international fora.