US Defense Bill Criticizes China for Aggression in LAC
A US defense spending legislation that has been passed by both houses of the US Congress expresses “significant concern” about Chinese aggression along the Indian border, and urges Beijing to resolve the dispute through the “existing diplomatic mechanisms” and “refraining” from using force and coercion.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), 2021 seeks to convey this message as an expression of the “sense of Congress.” While it is not a lawsuit or a threat with enforceable consequences, it is a significant show of support for India and solidarity, approved by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate.
The legislation now awaits the signature of President Donald Trump. He has until December 23 to enact the bill or veto it, as he has threatened. However, given that the legislation was approved by both the House and the Senate with a two-thirds majority, the measure has enough support to override a presidential veto.
In section 1206 of the bill titled “Congressional Sense of China’s Government Aggression Along the Indian Border and Growing Territorial Claims,” the bill reads: “The Chinese government’s continuing military aggression against along the border with India is a concern. “
And that “the government of China should work with the government of India to reduce the situation along the Royal Line of Control through existing diplomatic mechanisms and refrain from attempting to resolve disputes through coercion or force.”
It goes on to point to other aggressive actions by China in and around the region, saying that Congress believes that “the attempts by the Chinese Government to promote unsubstantiated territorial claims, including those in the South China Sea, the East China Sea and with with regard to Bhutan, they are destabilizing and incompatible with international law ”.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the NDAA last Friday, beginning the 10-day notice period for the president to sign.
Trump has threatened to veto the bill if it did not contain a provision removing the immunity enjoyed by social media platforms from prosecution for content posted by them, under Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act. He wants to punish Twitter, Facebook and other platforms for censoring and tagging objectionable content posted by him and his conservative allies.
The $ 740 billion defense spending bill does not contain that provision, in a rare joint snub by Republicans and Democrats, which has sparked a confrontation with lawmakers from both parties, who are determined to override his veto.
Raja Krishnamoorthi, the American Indian member of the House of Representatives who spearheaded the effort to include this language in the bill, said in a statement: “Violent assault is rarely the answer, and this is especially true for the Line of Representatives. Royal Control, which is the disputed border region that separates the People’s Republic of China from India. “
He added that the inclusion of this language in the bill and its enactment by the US government will send a clear signal that “China’s military provocations against India will not be tolerated” and that the US is “Committed to supporting our allies and partners like India to resolve the border confrontation using diplomatic means.”