India And China open talks; Trump offers to help ease tension

India and China have started using their diplomatic channels to resolve the LAC issue bilaterally. In Delhi, Chinese envoy Sun Weidong said: ‘We should adhere to the basic judgment that China and India are each other's opportunities and pose no th...

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NEW DELHI: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday offered to mediate between India and China to resolve what he called a “raging border dispute”. His surprise announcement comes even as New Delhi and Beijing have activated an established diplomatic mechanism at their foreign ministries to defuse tensions along the Line of Actual Control.

“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 tweeted.

This is the first time that a US President has offered to mediate between India and China, even as Washington has shown willingness many a time to be a peacemaker between Delhi and Islamabad. China, however, has said Delhi and Beijing were in touch with each other to address the issue, pre-empting Trump’s move.


India has not responded to Trump’s announcement till press time Wednesday. His previous offers to mediate on Kashmir have been rebuffed by New Delhi. His latest offer comes at a time when the US-China relations themselves are at their worst point, with both fighting a trade war and trading barbs over the origin of the coronavirus. The American navy has also stepped up patrols in the disputed South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits, angering China.

Meanwhile, India and China have started using their diplomatic channels to resolve the issue bilaterally. The point person on China at the Ministry of External Affairs and the officer’s counterpart in Beijing are establishing contacts to discuss the issue that has overshadowed bilateral ties over past couple of weeks, ET has learnt. Operational-level point people along the LAC are also in touch with each other to ease the situation.

A joint secretary-level mechanism at the foreign ministry (Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination) was established in 2012 as an institutional mechanism for consultation and coordination for the management of India-China border areas, and exchange of views on strengthening communication and cooperation.
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The Chinese foreign ministry on Wednesday hinted at a dialogue over the established diplomatic channels to defuse the tensions. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the situation at the border with India was "overall stable and controllable", and both countries had proper mechanisms and communication channels to resolve the issues through dialogue and consultation.

Speaking to reporters in Bejing, Zhao said China's position on border-related issues was clear and consistent. “We have been following the important consensus reached by the two leaders and strictly observing the agreements between the two countries," he said.
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