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India sidesteps Trump mediation offer over China border showdown

India sidesteps Trump mediation offer over China border showdown

AFP
New Delhi
India Thursday sidestepped US President Donald Trump’s offers to mediate the country’s border showdown with China, saying it was already engaged with Beijing to “resolve this issue”.
Trump’s offer on Wednesday came after Indian defense sources said hundreds of Chinese troops had moved into a disputed zone along their 3,500 kilometre-long frontier.
“We are engaged with the Chinese side to peacefully resolve this issue,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava told reporters during a weekly media briefing when asked about Trump’s tweet.
“Our troops have taken a very responsible approach towards border management,” Srivastava added.
“India is committed to the objective of maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas with China... At the same time, we remain firm in our resolve to ensuring India’s sovereignty and national security.”
Last year Trump offered to mediate between India and Pakistan over their Kashmir dispute, but it was tersely rejected by India.
While blaming each other for the flare-up, India and China -- the world’s two most populous countries and nuclear-armed neighbours -- have stressed the need to negotiate a settlement to the latest dispute along their tortuous border.
Alice Wells, the top US State Department official for South Asia, said last week that China was seeking to upset the regional balance and had to be “resisted”.

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