- The US Congress passed a bill urging the Chinese government to end its military aggression against India along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)
- The provision which Krishnamoorthi had led as amendment imitates the strong backing from the US government for its allies and partners such as India
- India and China have been locked in a border standoff since May along the LAC in eastern Ladakh
An overwhelming defence policy bill which includes calling out Chinese aggression against India along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) among other things has been approved by the US Senate worth USD 740 billion.
On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives and the Senate passed the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), which included core components of the resolution language of Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi urging the Chinese government to end its LAC military aggression against India.
China and India military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh since May this year has brought no concrete outcome from several rounds of talks between the two countries to resolve the standoff.
A bipartisan Congressional conference committee reconciled the House and Senate versions of the bill earlier this month.
The inclusion of this clause, led by Krishnamoorthi as an amendment when the bill passed the House, indicates the strong support of the US government for its allies such as India in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.
Krishnamoorthi’s bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support by each chamber, would become law if it is signed by President Donald Trump.
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Krishnamoorthi had said that “Violence is rarely the answer, and this is predominantly true for the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which is the disputed border region separating India from the People’s Republic of China”.
Krishnamoorthi also said that “The US government will send a clear message by including my resolution language in the NDAA (National Defence Authorization Act) and signing that legislation into law that China’s military provocations against India will not be tolerated,” and further added, “The US is committed to resolving the border standoff issue through diplomatic means and stand alongside its allies and partners such as India.”
The influential NDAA, as authorized by the conference report says that it is the Congress’s sense of China’s aggression along the border with India and its increasing territorial claims.
The Senate decided that the bill will contain the provisions that was passed by the House in its version of the bill.
There would be provisions in the House bill that would express Congress’ sense of cross-border violence between China and India and Beijing’s rising territorial claims.
The NDAA notes that China “should work with” India to de-escalate the situation along the Line of Actual Control through existing diplomatic channels and refrain from attempting to resolve disputes through intimidation or force, expressing “significant concern” about China’s ongoing military aggression along the border with India.
The bill notes that China’s attempts to advance unfounded territorial claims, including those in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and Bhutan, are destabilizing and inconsistent with international law.
In both the South China Sea and the East China Sea, China is still involved in fiercely contested territorial disputes. Domination over the entire South China Sea is claimed by China. There are counter-claims from Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Many of the islands and reefs in the area have been developed and militarised by Beijing. Both areas are known to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are important to global trade as well.