Trump offers to mediate between India, China

border

New York: Despite his tensions with Beijing, US President Donald Trump has offered to “mediate or arbitrate” the border dispute between India and China as the situation heated up with threats from both Beijing and Islamabad.

He tweeted: “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 offer came as tensions between the US and China are rising with high-level diplomats of both countries exchanging Cold War-style rhetoric making Trump’s offer political showmanship rather than a realistic one.

Though China has been aggressive against India at the border in the eastern sector in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, its latest offensive at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western sector in Ladakh has resulted in Indian and Chinese soldiers locked in a face-off in Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie.

Trump’s diplomacy came a day after both China and Pakistan issued open threats of war on India’s both fronts. The Pakistan Army also initiated an unprovoked ceasefire violation with intense mortar-shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Balakote sector of Poonch district in Jammu & Kashmir early Tuesday.

Posturing as an international statesman Trump has been keen to bring his style of diplomacy to India and has repeatedly offered to mediate between India and Pakistan.

Last year he made the dubious claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to “mediate or arbitrate” between India and Pakistan.

India has denied that such a request was ever made and pointed out that it holds that disputes between India and Pakistan are bilateral issues under the 1972 Simla Agreement between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and then Pakistan President, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

Trump did not know that India and China shared a border, according to a book published earlier this year by two journalists from The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

On Tuesday, China’s President Xi Jinping was quoted by state news agency Xinhua, as saying: “It is necessary to explore ways of training and preparing for war” and “to step up preparations for armed combat, to flexibly carry out actual combat military training, and to improve our military’s ability to perform military missions.” His statement was preceded by a decision to increase the budget for the Chinese military by 6.6 per cent.

No one can threaten Modi’s India: Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi: Amidst the rising tension in east Ladakh along the Sino-India border, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that no one can threaten Narendra Modi’s India.

Prasad was addressing a press conference in Delhi. On being asked about the face-off at the Line of Actual Control, he gave a one-liner reply: “No one can dare to stare at Modi’s India.”

Prasad refused to elaborate on the Sino-India face-off and centred his attack on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Prasad’s reply on the border tension came at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping had on Tuesday ordered his military to scale up the battle preparedness, considering the worst-case scenarios and asked them to resolutely defend the country’s sovereignty.

The political slugfest between the BJP and the Congress was triggered by the continuing face-off between India and China in eastern Ladakh after a clash between soldiers from both sides on two occasions. According to reports, Indian and Chinese Army personnel clashed along the northern bank of the Pangong Lake in Ladakh on May 5. Four days later, a face-off between the two sides was witnessed near Naku La Pass in Sikkim.

This is the first major stand-off between India and China after the Doklam episode in 2017 when Indian and Chinese forces saw a major face-off over construction of a road by China.

Image courtesy of thesatimes | Welcome to The South Asian Times

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