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In this file photo, an Indian Army truck crosses Chang la pass near Pangong Lake in Ladakh region (Photo: AP)
In this file photo, an Indian Army truck crosses Chang la pass near Pangong Lake in Ladakh region (Photo: AP)

India ignores Trump offer to mediate, says is in talks with China

  • India has stepped up efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the ongoing border dispute with China
  • India and China are looking for a bilateral solution

India on Thursday said it was “engaged" with China in efforts to resolve a tense border standoff—a short message that ignored a mediation offer by US president Donald Trump.

Asked to comment on Trump’s offer, foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava did not directly refer to Trump but said: “We are engaged with the Chinese side to peacefully resolve this issue"—an indication that India would sort out the problem bilaterally with China.

“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," he said when asked about the tensions with China.

Trump said in a Twitter post on Wednesday, “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 post seen as surprising even by Trump’s standards, since US-China relations are fraught due to tensions over trade and finger pointing over the handling of the covid-19 pandemic.

The US has accused China of hiding facts about the disease and has demanded a transparent investigation into how covid-19 became a pandemic.

Ironically, the US offer came on a day when China indicated a dialling down of tensions following a military build-up by Indian and Chinese armies along their borders in Sikkim and Ladakh after physical fights with exchange of blows. Despite the seeming softening of Beijing’s stance, two people familiar with the development said Indian and Chinese troops were holding their positions with no changes.

On the tensions with China, Srivastava said that talks between military officers at various levels had not yielded any results thus far and that diplomatic efforts were under way to find a solution.

Meanwhile, Trump said in a Twitter post on Thursday, “All over the World the CoronaVirus, a very bad “gift" from China, marches on. Not good!“

“All over the World the CoronaVirus, a very bad “gift" from China, marches on. Not good!“ Trump said in a Twitter post on Thursday.

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