No need for third party | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 30, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:57 AM, May 30, 2020

No need for third party

China snubs Trump’s mediation offer in India row

China has rejected US President Donald Trump's offer to mediate between India and China as tensions over border disputes continue to rise.

"China and India are capable of properly resolving the issues through dialogue and consultation," the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said, news agency PTI and Reuters reported.

In a surprise move, Trump on Wednesday offered to "mediate or arbitrate" the raging border dispute between India and China, saying he was "ready, willing and able" to ease the tensions, amid the continuing standoff between the armies of the two Asian giants.

Reacting for the first time to the US President's offer, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the two countries did not want the "intervention" from a third party to resolve the military standoff.

"Between China and India we have existing border-related mechanisms and communication channels," Zhao told reporters. "We are capable of properly resolving the issues between us through dialogue and consultation. We do not need the intervention of the third party," he said.

Several areas along the Line of Actual Control or LAC in Ladakh and North Sikkim have seen major military build-up by both the Indian and Chinese armies, in a clear signal of escalating tension and hardening of positions by the two sides even two weeks after they were engaged in two separate face-offs.

India has said the Chinese military was hindering normal patrolling by its troops along the LAC in Ladakh and Sikkim, and strongly refuted Beijing's contention that the escalating tension between the two armies was triggered by trespassing of Indian forces across the Chinese side.

The Indian Foreign Ministry has said all Indian activities were carried out on its side of the border, asserting that India has always taken a very responsible approach towards border management.

"The two sides have established mechanisms both at military and diplomatic levels to resolve situations which may arise in border areas peacefully through dialogue and continue to remain engaged through these channels," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

India denies Trump-Modi call

Meanwhile, India has denied that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken with Trump about the standoff with China, after Trump suggested Modi was upset about border tension.

"They have a big conflict going with India and China. ... Two countries with very powerful militaries," Trump told reporters, according to a White House transcript.

"And India is not happy, and probably China is not happy. But I can tell you, I did speak to Prime Minister Modi. He's not - he's not in a good mood about what's going on with China," Trump added.

But Indian officials expressed surprise at Trump's latest remarks. "There has been no recent contact between PM Modi and President Trump," a government source said. "The last conversation between them was on April 4, on the subject of hydroxychloroquine."

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