WASHINGTON/NEW DELHI: The United States, the European Union and the United Nations on Wednesday urged India and China to exercise restraint and resolve their border stand-off through dialogue.
The US, which is itself engaged in high-level bilateral parleys with Beijing in
, appeared circumspect, with President Trump’s voluble Twitter feed remaining conspicuously silent on the matter even 48 hours after the Galwan clash. However, in response to a query, a State Department spokesperson said, “Both India and China have expressed a desire to de-escalate, and we support a peaceful resolution of the current situation,” adding that the US is “closely monitoring the situation between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control.”
said in a statement that India and China should show restraint and engage in military de-escalation, as well as continue their dialogue. “This is crucial for building trust and reaching a peaceful solution, which is essential to preserving peace and stability in the region.”
Eri Kaneko, associate spokesperson of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, also expressed concern over the reports of clashes, but said, “We take positive note of reports that the two countries have engaged to de-escalate the situation.”
The US spokesperson noted, without elaborating, that “during their phone call on June 2, President Trump and Prime Minister Modi discussed the situation on the India-China border.” Trump had offered on Twitter to mediate between the two sides then.
On record, though, neither the State Department nor the White House chose to comment, much less express support for India, evidently not wanting to queer the pitch during the US’ own ongoing engagement with China, with a quiet meeting in Hawaii between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and top Chinese mandarin
. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus tweeted out condolences about the recent ISIS killing in Nigeria but took no note of the India-China bloodbath.
Alice Wells, who was till recently the US point person for South Asia, was more forthcoming on the issue. She tweeted with the hashtag #USIndia on Tuesday: “PRC actions — provocative border rumble with India, aggressions against
and Malaysia, threats to Taiwan, and repression in HK — require more, not less, US diplomacy.” She followed it up with another tweet: “De-escalation is critical, as is diplomatic resolution of issues related to the Line of Actual Control, but India will come out of this crisis with the full support of like-minded countries.”
The clash barely made news in China. It was ignored in the official media and buried on Page 16 in its English mouthpiece, Global Times. However, it had
’s strategic community astir given the current tensions between US and China over the coronavirus pandemic.
Urging the Trump administration to “take a stand against China’s increasing bullying,” James Carafano of the conservative think-tank Heritage Foundation invoked Washington’s characterisation of India as an important American partner for peace and stability in the region, and said, “Beijing ought to have no illusions about where America stands. The US stands with our friends.”
With inputs from agencies