There has been a calibrated sharpening of US remarks on the India-China conflict, with the White House setting the tone last week when the spokesperson said President Donald Trump believed that China’s “aggressive stance” on the border with India fit a pattern of “Chinese aggression” around the world.
The US state department took much the same line on Monday shortly after news broke of the Chinese moving their troops back from Patrolling Point 14, site of deadly clashes last month in which 20 Indian and an undisclosed number of Chinese troops were killed on June 15.
A state department spokesperson said the US supported a peaceful resolution of the situation, but, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said on many occasions, “what is so disturbing is the emergence of a clear pattern of Beijing acting increasingly aggressively, both domestically and abroad”.
From the Taiwan Strait to Xinjiang, from the South China Sea to the Himalayas, from cyberspace to international organizations such as the World Health Organization, the spokesperson said “we are dealing with a Chinese Communist Party that seeks to repress its own people and bully its neighbors”.
The official added: “The only way to stop these provocations is by standing up to Beijing and imposing costs on its bad behavior.”
The spokesperson did not explain the “costs”, but in recent days, the United States has announced the end of export of controlled defense equipment to Hong Kong over the new Chinese national security law that western powers have said is violative of China’s international commitments. And Trump has signed into law a bill that sought to impose sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for the repression of Uighur minorities.
The president and allies in Congress have also talked about holding China accountable for the spread of the coronavirus by billing it the damages caused to the US economy.
Osh Hawley, a Republican senator from Missouri state, moved a resolution in March that sought to hold China “accountable” for the pandemic and “design a mechanism for delivering compensation from the Government of the People’s Republic of China to all affected nations for the harm caused by its decision to hide the emergence and spread of COVID–19 during the initial weeks of the outbreak”.
India, China to hold ninth round of military talks today to resolve Ladakh border standoff
In a bid to end the standoff at Ladakh border, India and China will be engaging in ninth round of military level talks.
India, China will be holding ninth round of Corps Commander-level talks on Sunday to discuss the situation at Line of Actual control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. XIV Corps commander Lt General PGK Menon and South Xinjiang Military Region commander Major General Liu Lin will be holding the discussion at Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) point in Moldo. During the talks, a representative of Ministry of External Affairs will also be present. according to reports.
India had earlier sent a memo to China following which the date of the talks was fixed. Around 50,000 troops from each side have been deployed in the region for an indefinite period while no dialogue has taken place at the senior level for a long time. The last round of military talks between the two countries was held on November 6 during which both the sides discussed disengagement of troops from specific friction points.
The standoff between India and china has entered ninth month with heavy deployment of troops from both sides. Earlier in an interview with a television channel, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said India will not reduce its troop strength till China takes the initiative.
The tensions between the countries started flaring up when 250 soldiers from India and China had a face-off along the northern bank of the Pangong Lake. The face-off even resulted in stone-pelting around the area. The violent clashes resulted in injuries to the soldiers.
According to officers, no major breakthrough has been achieved so far despite several round of talks as both the sides are adamant on their demands. While, China wants India to vacate the heights in the Chushul sub-sector, India has insisted that a resolution would be possible only after taking into account all the friction points.
INDIA, CHINA DISCUSS WAYS TO DE-ESCALATE
Reacting to the another round of diplomatic dialogue held between India and China on Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the two countries agreed to resolve the outstanding issues in an expeditious manner and in accordance with the existing protocols.
Reacting to the another round of diplomatic dialogue held between India and China on Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the two countries agreed to resolve the outstanding issues in an expeditious manner and in accordance with the existing protocols. India had in the last meeting too emphasised on the need for expeditious and complete disengagement along the LAC. The special representatives, NSA Ajit Doval and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, had last spoken on July 5, after which there was disengagement in the Galwan and Gogra Hot Springs area but then it came to a halt.
The Chinese foreign ministry in its statement said India and China “positively evaluated the progress” made in the disengagement of troops, had a “frank and in-depth” exchange of views on remaining issues on the ground and enhanced “mutual understanding”.
“The two sides agreed to conscientiously implement the consensus reached between the two foreign ministers and the special representatives on China-India boundary question, continue to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, further cool down the border situation, properly handle the remaining issues on the ground, and jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” the Chinese readout said.
Read Also: VACCINE BY YEAR-END : HARSHVARDHAN
This was the 18th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs.
INDIA MAY TAKE FRESH ACTION ON ECONOMIC FRONT AGAINST CHINA
With the People’s Liberation Army is still holding forward positions on Pangong Tso and Gogra-Hot Springs area of Ladakh
With the People’s Liberation Army is still holding forward positions on Pangong Tso and Gogra-Hot Springs area of Ladakh and showing no signs of a promised de-escalation, the Narendra Modi government is contemplating further action against China on economic front to drive home the message that India means business.
According to senior government officials familiar with the matter, the apex China Study Group (CSG) met on Monday to discuss the PLA action on the ground in Ladakh and its military posture in occupied Aksai Chin region of Tibet. The CSG, which has India’s senior most ministers, military leaders and bureaucrat as members, is the body that recommends the country’s course on action with China.
While China wants India to normalize diplomatic relations on an as-is-where-is basis, the Modi government firmly believes that anything short of status quo ante in Ladakh sector is unacceptable with a cost attached to it. Despite being the aggressor, the PLA believes that its troops are well within it own perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. Thus, it is holding on to the positions at both Gogra-Hot Springs as well as the green top of finger four feature of Pangong Tso lake while making unacceptable demands on Indian Army posts.
According to officials, the Indian Army has been asked to remain in forward positions along the 1597 km LAC in Ladakh. On July 5, the Indian Special Representative on boundary dialogue spoke to his Chinese counterpart for more than two hours .
The two decided that both sides fully disengage and then de-escalate but a month later, the situation has reached a stalemate with the Chinese offering a diplomatic face-saver to India without any corresponding withdrawal on the ground.
Now that the US has taken action against Huawei and its supporting entities for spying, it is quite evident that India will also keep the Chinese communication and power companies out of any future projects. The Modi government is clear that the bilateral ties are directly linked with the border peace and will not allow them on a parallel track as in the past.