Washington, May 29: The White House on Thursday declined to elaborate on President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate between India and China to resolve their border issue.
“I will refer you to President’s tweet” on this, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said when asked about President Trump’s offer to mediate between the two Asian giants.
In the midst of latest flare-ups between Indian and Chinese armies, Trump on Wednesday said he was “ready, willing and able to mediate” between the two countries.
“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,” Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday.
In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that India was engaged with China to resolve the border issue, in a carefully crafted reaction seen as virtual rejection of President Trump’s offer.
“We are engaged with the Chinese side to peacefully resolve it,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, replying to a volley of questions at an online media briefing.
While the Chinese Foreign Ministry is yet to react to Trump’s tweet which appears to have caught Beijing by surprise, an op-ed article in the state-run Global Times said both countries don’t need such a help from Trump.
“The latest dispute can be solved bilaterally by China and India. The two countries should keep alert on the US, which exploits every chance to create waves that jeopardize regional peace and order,” it said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday that both China and India have proper mechanisms and communication channels to resolve the issues through dialogue and consultations.
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 incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.