Weeks After Modi-Xi Summit, US Officials In Arunachal, Dharamsala

These visits come just weeks after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited India for the second informal summit.

2 min read
Sam Brownback met Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.

The US ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster, on Monday, 28 October, visited Tawang in Arunchal Pradesh, an area which is claimed entirely by China in an unresolved land dispute.

At the same time, the US ambassador for religious freedom, Sam Brownback, was in Dharamsala to share the stage with the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama.

These visits come just weeks after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited India from 11 to 12 October to take part in the second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Juster is in Arunachal Pradesh to attend the three-day Tawang Festival, a mega event that draws hundreds of tourists every year.

Pema Khandu, chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, had earlier welcomed the ambassador in a Twitter post, “Welcome to Ambassador Mr. Kenneth I. Juster and Consul General Patti Hoffman for Tawang Festival.”

Beijing had raised objection after the former US ambassador to India Richard Verma had visited Tawang in 2016, according to Livemint.

Brownback visited Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh to meet Dalai Lama and attend the 60th anniversary event honouring the Tibetan Institute for Performing Arts.

During his visit, he tweeted, “They (Tibetans) have not only endured but defied attacks by those who sought to revise, restrict, and erase their unique heritage.”

Dharamsala is the refuge of the 14th Dalai Lama, the religious leader of Tibet, who fled to India to escape Chinese persecution.

The second India-China summit had ended on a positive note. Jinping had said he was overwhelmed by India’s hospitality and said it was a memorable experience. He said that PM Modi’s idea of an informal summit was a very good one.

China is yet to respond to the US officials’ visits.

(With inputs from Livemint)

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