US ‘closely monitoring’ India-China border situation

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COURTESY BY: https://www.hindustantimes.com/

The United States has said it is “closely monitoring” the India-China border situation and an American media report suggested China may have suffered severe losses in the eastern Ladakh clashes and put the number of its fatalities at 35 citing an intelligence assessment.

US News, the media publication, went on to suggest that the Chinese are taking the deaths as a humiliation and might be reluctant, therefore, to announce or confirm them for fear of emboldening other adversaries.

In the reported assessment of US intelligence it was a tense border meeting between military personnel of the two sides to de-escalate tensions that turned violent. Most deaths were caused by batons, knives or from falling off a steep cliff. The details of this account of events could not be ascertained independently.

The state department pointed to an earlier statement when asked. A spokesperson had said: “We are closely monitoring the situation between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control. We note the Indian military has announced that 20 soldiers have died, and we offer our condolences to their families. Both India and China have expressed a desire to de-escalate, and we support a peaceful resolution of the current situation.”

The spokesperson had gone on to refer to a June 2 phone call in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump had discussed the India-China border.

President Trump had earlier, on May 28, offered to mediate the dispute, saying in a tweet, “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.” The offer was turned down by both India and China and Trump has since not said more on this, snowed under as he is with the twin crises of the Covid-19 epidemic that has killed nearly 117,000 Americans and the civil unrest triggered by the killing of an Africa-American man by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

The state department had earlier slammed the border tensions as a reflection of Chinese aggression going beyond the rhetoric and the House foreign affairs committee had blamed the Chinese for as well.

“I am extremely concerned by the ongoing Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control on the India-China border.,” Eliot Engel, the chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, had said in a statement in early June. “China is demonstrating once again that it is willing to bully its neighbors rather than resolve conflicts according to international law.”

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