indica News Bureau-
In the undefined borders of India and China, conflicts often arise between border patrols of the two countries, which may often lead to bigger political implications.
Likewise, recently there was a face-off between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. To which, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, May 27th 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!”
This is not the first time Trump is offering his unsolicited assistance. Previously he offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue on multiple occasions. India, however, rejected the offer as New Delhi maintains that there is no role for any third party in bilateral issues.
In fact, this offer came as a surprise on a day when both sides had softened their line on the stand-off, suggesting the situation was “stable and controllable” now.
President Trump’s comments also seem to be different from Alice Wells, who was then a senior U.S. State Department official, who had squarely blamed China for the border tensions and called China a “threat” to all its neighbors.
Moreover, Mr. Trump’s offer comes at a time when the U.S. and China themselves have tensions between them on several fronts. In addition to an uneasy trade situation between the two, the U.S. has accused China of not being transparent with information concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.
Neither the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) nor China’s MoFA responded to Mr. Trump’s statement on Wednesday. India has in the past rejected all offers for third party mediation, and China is also expected to reject the proposal.
A senior Indian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that neither side would take the offer “seriously”, although, given the “optics”, China would view it less favorably.
Earlier on Wednesday, China had said that both sides would resolve the standoff bilaterally.
Zhao Lijian, China’s MoFA spokesperson said that “At present, the situation in the border areas between China and India is generally stable and controllable.”
“China and India communicate through established border-related mechanisms and diplomatic channels, including communication between local border troops, diplomatic departments, and embassies of the two countries,” he added.
Mr. Trump’s comments were also surprising as the Centre has so far not said that the situation at the LAC was serious in any way, and has stressed that “established mechanisms” were being applied to resolve the issue.