China must use diplomacy to settle border issues with India: US House panel

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. File photo: Reuters
China has moved up its forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, asserting that authoritarian regimes take these kinds of actions.

 

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. 

India has said that its troops fully abide by the alignment of the Line of Actual Control in the India-China border and it is the Chinese side that has undertaken activity hindering India's normal patrolling patterns. 

"We see even today increasing forces of China moved up to the north of India on the Line of Actual Control there on the Indian border," Pompeo told Marc Thiessen and Danielle Pletka of AEI's 'What The Hell Is Going On' Podcast.

 

Meanwhile, US House Committee on Foreign Affairs has strongly urged China to use diplomacy and existing mechanisms to resolve its border issues with India.

 

"I am extremely concerned by the ongoing Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control on the India-China border. China is demonstrating once again that it is willing to bully its neighbours rather than resolve conflicts according to international law," Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

"Countries must all abide by the same set of rules so that we don't live in a world where "might makes right." I strongly urge China to respect norms and use diplomacy and existing mechanisms to resolve its border questions with India," Engel added.

 

China on Monday said both diplomatic and military communication channels are open between the two countries on the border issue and expressed the belief that the two sides can properly resolve it through dialogue.

 

Here’s what US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said 
  • The Communist Party of China (CPC) continues to hide and obfuscate and delay the global response to the coronavirus pandemic that began in Wuhan. It has taken actions destroying the amazing freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.
  • Those are just two pieces of the behaviour of this regime of the Chinese Communist Party. The nature and the activity that they're undertaking, the continued efforts to steal intellectual property, to advance in the South China Sea.
  • These are the kinds of actions that authoritarian regimes take, and they have a real impact not only on the Chinese people there in China and Hong Kongers in Hong Kong, but a real impact on people all around the world.
  • The United States has a responsibility and the capability to push back against that, ensure that the American people are properly served by a foreign policy that recognises the threats that emanate from China today.
  • The recent Chinese actions be it on the India border, or Hong Kong or the South China Sea, have been part of the Chinese behaviour in the recent past.
  • We see these same kind of things with them attempting to build ports around the world as part of their Belt and Road Initiative, places where they can move the People's Liberation Army Navy. We've seen their continued efforts to expand militarily.
  • For the past 20 years, the US has not responded to these things in a real way.
  • We've viewed the 1.5 billion people in the Chinese market as so important to the American economy, and the risk that the Chinese would respond by closing us out for the favour of some other nation I think people have just been too worried about that to actually take the responses that we take to every other country that behaves in the way that China has done. 

US President Donald Trump had offered to mediate between the two countries on the "raging border dispute". India has said that it is engaged in talks with China to resolve the border issue.

 

China's take on border tension

 

"Currently the overall situation along the China-India border is stable and controllable. Both diplomatic and military communication channels between China and India on the border issue are open," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing.

 

"We believe that the two sides can properly resolve the issue through dialogue and consultations," he added.Tensions have escalated along the LAC in the last few weeks following skirmishes between Indian and Chinese troops. There was a face-off in Sikkim and the troops of two countries are in a stand-off in Eastern Ladakh.



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