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India-China talks hit a deadlock, Trump calls the situation ‘very nasty’ and offers mediation

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India-China LAC talks held on Friday between Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe in Moscow hit a deadlock. In a statement released by Indian defence ministry on Saturday, India told China, “the current situation should be handled responsibly and neither side should take any further action that could either complicate the situation or escalate matters in the border areas.”

Singh stressed that the “actions of the Chinese troops, including amassing of in large numbers, their aggressive behaviour and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo were in violation of the bilateral agreements and not in keeping with the understandings reached between the special representatives of two sides.” The Indian statement added that “while the Indian troops had always taken a very responsible approach towards border management, but at the same time there should be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

As per the reports, Wei said that “both sides should scrupulously implement the consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping and continue to solve the issues through dialogue and consultation, strictly follow the various bilateral agreements, strengthen the regulation of frontline troops and not undertake any provocative actions that might escalate the situation.”

“The two sides should focus on the overall situation of India-China relations and work together to de-escalate the situation as soon as possible, and maintain peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas. The Chinese defence minister suggested that both sides should maintain communication at all levels including between the two ministers,” according to the Indian statement.

Each side kept on blaming the other for the border dispute which started in May and got escalated in June near the eastern Ladakh region. In the border skirmish, India lost over 20 soldiers while China did not report any causality on its end. Since then New Delhi has been pressing for the withdrawal of the Chinese troops while China stands firm on its claims over the territory. 

The Chinese statement quoted Wei as saying, “The relationship between the two countries and the armed forces has been severely affected by the border issue recently” and the “cause and truth of the current tension on the border between China and India are very clear, and the responsibility lies entirely with India.”

“China’s territory cannot be lost. The Chinese military is fully determined, capable, and confident to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wei added.

Seeing the inconclusive nature of the matter, US President Donald Trump called the situation “very nasty” and offered his mediation to resolve the issue. He said that he hoped that two sides resolve the matter but from the looks of it, it seemed the Chinese were “going at it” much more strongly. “While we’re at it, we’re talking about China and India are going at it pretty good on the border, as you know. It’s been very nasty,” Trump told reporters on Friday evening at a White House news conference.

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