In a dramatic twist, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday confirmed the reports of a ‘now raging border dispute’ between India and China. Not only did Trump confirm the news of the Chinese invasion into Indian territory in Ladakh, but the US President also offered to mediate between the two countries.
Trump tweeted, “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!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
Trump had offered to mediate between India and Pakistan in the past but the Indian government had refused to accept his offer.
Trump’s offer comes after days of media reporting that showed how the Chinese military had increased its build-up in Ladakh and Sikkim by even reportedly invading Indian territory. According to some satellite images, China is shown to be expanding its airbase near Ladakh with even fighter jets present at the tarmac.
Former Indian army colonel and defence expert, Ajai Shukla, wrote in the Business Standard on Tuesday, “Currently, government sources assess there are close to 10,000 soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Indian territory. Dialogue is frozen, with the Chinese rebuffing Indian calls for flag meetings to resolve the situation.”
The report by Shukla added, “The most worrying situation is in the Galwan valley, where the PLA has crossed China’s own claim line (which Beijing had stated was the border with India), and breached 3-4 kilometres into Indian territory. PLA troops are digging defences to equip themselves to face any Indian attack.”
The silence by both the Indian government and the army top brass has baffled many. Trump’s tweet confirming the stand-off between India and China has prompted many to urge the Indian government to come clean on the reports of Chinese invasion at the Line of Actual Control, also known as LAC.
There are reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the three service chiefs, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Tuesday evening to discuss the border tension with China.