'US ready, willing to mediate': Trump on India-China border standoff


NEW DELHI: President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that the US is ready and willing to mediate between India and China amid their escalating border stand-off in eastern Ladakh.

"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!" Trump said on Twitter.

The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on the evening of May 5 which spilled over to the next day before the two sides agreed to "disengage" following a meeting at the level of local commanders.

Over 100 Indian and Chinese soldiers were injured in the violence. The trigger for the incident was China's strong objection to the road being laid by India in the Finger area in Pangong Tso lake.

Since then, Chinese military has increased its strength in Pangong Tso lake, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldi, and resorting to "aggressive patrolling" in these areas. The Indian Army is also carrying out similar exercise in the region, sources said.

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

However, the ministry of external affairs 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. At the same time, it said, India was deeply committed to protect its sovereignty and security.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said today that the situation on the China-India border was "generally stable and controllable."

Trump had in the past offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, despite New Delhi insisting that it is a bilateral issue.

(With inputs from agencies)

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