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On Tuesday, United States President Donald Trump and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a 25-minute phone call where they discussed issues surrounding the ongoing India-China border standoff, among other topics.
The conversation between Trump and Modi took place ahead of a June 6 meeting scheduled between China and India’s senior military officials.
In a statement released on Monday, US Congressman and Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Eliot Engel, expressed concerns over China’s escalating aggression over its territorial claims along the India-China border.
“China is demonstrating once again that it is willing to bully its neighbors rather than resolve conflicts according to international law. Countries must all abide by the same set of rules so that we don’t live in a world where ‘might makes right,'" Engel said.
Last week, Trump took to Twitter to make an unsolicited offer to help with what he called a “raging border dispute.”
“We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute. Thank you!”
The India-China border dispute covers the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, where troops of both nations have been engaged in a standoff for over three weeks.
While no shots have been fired, there have been incidents at multiple points along the Himalayan border involving fistfights, clubbing and stone-pelting.
India Defence Minister Rajnath Singh confirmed the deployment of additional troops from both sides in an interview with CNN News18 on Tuesday.
“The Chinese have come in sizable numbers,” he said, “But India has done what needed to be done.”
Despite this, the June 6 meeting is expected to proceed and end positively. Representatives from both nations have expressed the intention to resolve issues using bilateral means.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian released a statement on Wednesday saying that China is “committed to safeguarding [their] territorial sovereignty and security as well as peace and stability.”
He stressed that there are “sound mechanisms and channels of communication” in place to allow the two nations to resolve issues through “dialogue and consultation.”
Rejecting Trump’s offer, Zhao also added that “there is no need for any third party to intervene.”
Singh echoed the Chinese statement further citing the diplomatic resolution of the 2017 Dokhlam issue between the two nations.
“We have found solutions to similar situations in the past as well. Talks at the military and diplomatic levels are on to resolve the current issue,” he said.
In recent weeks, China’s Coast Guard has been accused of sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat in the South China Sea and flanking a Malaysian offshore oil rig. In one flare up at the glacial lake Pangong Tso, several Indian troops had to be evacuated by helicopter to seek medical attention with analysts also stating that several Chinese troops were injured as well.
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