India International

India says no to Trump’s help on China standoff

New Delhi: India on Thursday said it is engaged with China at the diplomatic and military levels to end a border standoff involving thousands of troops even as it tacitly ruled out any possibility of US mediation to end the face-off.

Since tensions flared along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) after violent clashes involving hundreds of soldiers in Sikkim and Ladakh sectors early this month, both sides have deployed additional soldiers. India has said it will oppose any unilateral attempts to alter the status quo along the LAC.

Faced with questions on the standoff and whether India agreed with Chinese ambassador’s characterization of the situation as “stable and controllable”, external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava told a virtual news briefing that both sides are engaged at different levels to address tensions, but New Delhi will make no compromises on sovereignty and national security, reported Hindustan Times.

Asked about US President Donald Trump’s offer on Wednesday to mediate between India and China and whether New Delhi had sought such arbitration, Srivastava appeared to rule out any role for a third party by saying: “As I’ve told you, we are engaged with the Chinese side to peacefully resolve this issue.” He also reiterated India’s contention that its troops had not violated the LAC, a charge levelled by China.

Meanwhile, fears are rising of a US-China cold war amid Washington taking stands on Hong Kong, Taiwan, even Tibet.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified to Congress Wednesday that Hong Kong no longer enjoys a high degree of autonomy from China — a decision that could result in the loss of Hong Kong’s special trading status with the US and threaten its standing as an international financial hub.

Undeterred, China’s rubber-stamp parliament endorsed plans Thursday to impose a national security law on Hong Kong that critics say will destroy the city’s autonomy.

On its part,  China has said that the U.S. should “give up on its wishful thinking of changing China” and avoid bringing the two countries to a “new Cold War.”

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