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US Senate resolution seeks to recognize Tibet-signed 1914 border deal with India

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(, Mar15’23) – A bipartisan draft resolution introduced in the US Senate on Mar 14 seeks to recognize the McMahon Line as the international boundary between Chinese-ruled Tibet and the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, reported the PTI news agency Mar 15.

This is in keeping with an ongoing move in both chambers of the Congress to make it a US government policy to recognize Tibet as an occupied territory and the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination.

India’s position on the McMahon Line is somewhat contradictory.  It swears by the McMahon Line but then recognized Tibet as part of China. The McMahon Line was drawn up at a tripartite convention in Shimla in 1914 among envoys of Tibet, China, and British India.

“At a time when China continues to pose grave and gathering threats to the Free and Open Indo-Pacific, it is critical for the United States to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our strategic partners in the region, especially India,” Senator Bill Hagerty, who along with Senator Jeff Merkley introduced a resolution in the Senate, has said.

Senator Bill Hagerty and Senator Jeff Merkley.

“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 US-India strategic partnership and the Quad in support of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” Hagerty has said.

Rejecting China’s claim over the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, Merkey has said, “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.”

“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 US to deepening support and assistance to the region, alongside like-minded international partners and donors,” he has added.

The draft resolution is also stated to condemn additional China’s 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 features in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, and expansion of PRC territorial claims in Bhutan.

The draft resolution is stated to serve to further strengthen US-India bilateral partnership regarding defense, technology, economics, and people-to-people ties and promotes enhancing multilateral cooperation through the Quad, the East Asia Summit alongside our partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and other international fora.


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