Washington, DC – On December 9, there was a fresh face-off between Indian and Chinese forces at the line of actual control (LAC) in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh. Commenting on background to GSV, a State Department Spokesperson said, “For nearly six decades, the United States has recognized Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory. We strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by incursions, military or civilian, across the border or the established Line of Actual Control.”
Briefing reporters at the Pentagon, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said it reflects a “growing trend by the PRC to assert itself and to be provocative toward US allies and our partners in the Indo-Pacific.”
Reports say that Chinese soldiers came close to the area near the LAC, which both sides had agreed not to patrol. The Indian troops challenged this move. Both sides sustained injuries and withdrew, but China has accused India of illegally crossing the border and causing regional instability.
India and the US just concluded their annual Yudh Abhyas military exercises, and China accused the US of “wanting to strengthen military cooperation with India to embolden India to provoke China in a more aggressive manner.”
Ryder said DOD continues to watch developments along the LAC between India and China. We will continue to remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring the security of our partners, and we fully support India’s ongoing efforts to de-escalate the situation.”
Briefing reporters at the daily press briefing, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said, “We’re closely monitoring the situation. We are glad to hear that both sides appear to have quickly disengaged from the clashes…. We’re continuing to monitor very closely and to engage with our Indian partners.”
Noting that India is an important strategic partner of the United States bilaterally, in the Quad, and other multilateral fora, Price said the US is in close contact with India both from our mission in India and from the State Department here in Washington. “We encourage India and China to utilize existing bilateral channels to discuss disputed boundaries,” he added.
Poonam is a multi-media journalist, and Founder and Editor of Global Strat View. She was the Managing Editor of India America Today (IAT) for seven years, and launched its print edition in 2019 with IAT's Founder and Editor, the late Tejinder Singh.