Foreign Policy Watch: India-China

China objects to US recognizing Arunachal as Indian Territory


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Border dispute between India and china

Mains level: role of usa in resolving dispute between India and China

Why in the news? 

China on Thursday said it firmly opposes the US recognition of Arunachal Pradesh as part of Indian territory


  • China’s strong reaction came hours after US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel’s remarks that the United States “recognises Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory.
  • US representative strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by incursions or encroachments, military or civilian, across the Line of Actual Control.

Border Issues between Indian and China-

  • Aksai Chin: China administers it as part of Xinjiang, while India claims it as part of Ladakh.Aksai Chin holds strategic importance due to its proximity to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and its potential as a military route.
  • Arunachal Pradesh: China claims the entire state as “South Tibet,” while India administers it as a northeastern state.
  • Lack of Clear Demarcation: The border between India and China lacks clear demarcation throughout. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) was established after the 1962 Indo-China war, contributing to the complexity of the situation.Absence of a mutually agreed Line of Actual Control (LAC) along certain stretches leads to ambiguity and potential for conflicts.

Military Standoffs between India and China- 

  • 1962 Sino-Indian War– It was a conflict over border disputes, primarily centered around Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, resulting in a decisive victory for China.
  • Confrontations have escalated since 2013-The most serious  conflict were in Galwan Valley in Ladakh in 2020 and in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh in 2022.

Border Dispute Settlement Mechanisms between India and China-

  • Panchsheel Agreement of 1954: The Panchsheel doctrine distinctly expressed a commitment to respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • Peace and Tranquility Agreements1993: Both countries have signed several agreements aimed at maintaining peace and tranquility along the border, such as the Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the India-China Border Areas signed in 1993.
  • The Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the LAC- It was signed in 1996, which laid down pledges on non-aggression, prior notification of large troop movements, and exchange of maps to resolve disagreements over the LAC.
  • Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC): This mechanism, established in 2012, aims to address day-to-day management of the border, enhance communication, and prevent misunderstandings or conflicts.
  • Joint Military Exercises: India and China occasionally conduct joint military exercises aimed at improving mutual understanding and cooperation, which indirectly contributes to confidence-building measures. For example Hand in Hand.

Suggestive measures to resolve the border dispute between India and China:

  • Diplomatic Dialogue: Both countries should engage in sustained diplomatic negotiations at various levels to address the underlying issues causing the dispute.
  • Bilateral Agreements: Continuation and reinforcement of existing bilateral agreements aimed at maintaining peace and tranquillity along the border.
  • Border Management Mechanisms: Strengthening and enhancing border management mechanisms such as Border Personnel Meetings (BPMs) and the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) to effectively manage and resolve disputes.
  • Clarification of LAC: Work towards mutual clarification and delineation of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to reduce ambiguity and prevent misunderstandings.
  • Disengagement and De-escalation: Prioritize efforts to disengage troops and de-escalate tensions in disputed areas along the border.
  • Conflict Prevention: Implement measures aimed at preventing confrontations and conflicts, such as prior notification of military exercises and troop movements.
  • Third-Party Mediation: Consider the involvement of neutral third-party mediators or international organizations to facilitate dialogue and negotiation.
  • People-to-People Contacts: Promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges to foster better understanding and trust between the two nations.

How USA can help to resolve border dispute between India and China- 

  • Facilitate Diplomatic Dialogue: The USA can encourage and facilitate diplomatic dialogue between India and China to resolve the border dispute peacefully.
  • Mediation Role: Offer to mediate or provide assistance as a neutral third-party mediator if both parties consent to such involvement.
  • Provide Strategic Support: Offer strategic support and expertise in conflict resolution to help address the complex issues underlying the dispute.
  • Pressure for Peaceful Resolution: Use diplomatic channels to exert pressure on both India and China to prioritize peaceful resolution of the dispute.
  • Regional Stability: Emphasize the importance of resolving the border dispute for regional stability and economic development.
  • Support Existing Mechanisms: Support existing border dispute settlement mechanisms, such as the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), through funding or technical assistance.


China’s objection to the US recognizing Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory underscores the need for diplomatic dialogue. The US can play a constructive role by facilitating negotiations and supporting existing mechanisms for peaceful resolution. 

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch