US President Donald Trump has asserted that Washington was talking to India and China on resolving “a very nasty situation” in the Ladakh region, but equivocated on whether Beijing was a bully
US President Donald Trump has asserted that Washington was talking to India and China on resolving “a very nasty situation” in the Ladakh region, but equivocated on whether Beijing was a bully.
He said on Friday at a Washington news conference, “We stand ready to help with respect to China and India. If we can do anything we will have to get involved and help. And we are talking to both countries about that.”
“It's been vey nasty, a very nasty situation,” he said about the confrontation between the two sides along the Line of Actual (LAC) in Ladakh, where China has fortified its troop presence and, according to India carried out "provocative military movements" on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake between Sunday and Monday.
Asked by a reporter if China was bullying India, he said, “I hope not, I hope not. They are certainly going at it, and they are going it at very much more strongly than a lot of people even understand.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had on Wednesday accused China of bullying its neighbours.
“From the Taiwan Strait to the Himalayas and beyond, the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in a clear and intensifying pattern of bullying its neighbours,” he said.
But he added, “We are hoping for a peaceful resolution of the situation on the India-China border.”
Trump's offer of mediation, which both countries have refused, is a reiteration of an earlier mediation bid in May.
This was similar to Trump's attempts to mediate between India and Pakistan that was snubbed by New Delhi, which considers their disputes as bilateral issues covered by their 1972 agreement between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistan's then-President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
While Trump has been critical of China on several issues and saying it poses a global threat to the US, he has hesitated to take a definitive stand on the India-China conflict.