US will try to help India, China, says Trump
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has made yet another foray into the ongoing IndiaChina conflict, saying the Asian neighbours are dealing with a “big problem” and the United States will try to “help them out”.
Though Trump did not repeat his earlier offer of mediation, which has been firmly turned down by both India and China, he did say the United States is “talking” to them.
The President, in a short reply to a reporter’s question before departing the White House for his election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday evening, said: “It’s a very tough situation... We’re talking to India. We’re talking to China.” He added: “They’ve got a big problem there. They’ve come to blows, and we’ll see what happens. We’ll try...help them out.”
On May 29, the US President made an explicit offer of mediation and had gone on to claim that he had discussed the situation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They had not till then, but did later in a June 2 call. Trump did not pursue his offer after being turned down.
Trump has been keen to intercede in that part of Asia one way or another for months now. He first offered to mediate the IndiaPakistan tensions last summer in the aftermath of the Pulwama terrorist attack. Though the first offer, elicited from him by the visiting Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, was swiftly rejected by New Delhi, the President persisted even as the offers were firmly rejected by India.
In the India-China conflict, while Trump has not clearly picked sides, his secretary of state Michael Pompeo has been explicit on who is to blame. “The PLA has escalated border tensions – we see it today in India, the world’s most popular, populous democracy,” Pompeo said, referring to the Chinese military in a virtual conference of the Copenhagen Democracy Summit on Friday.
US lawmakers have also been clear about their view of the faceoff that have been on for weeks. “I am extremely concerned by the ongoing Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control on the India-China border,” Eliot Engel, a Democrat who heads the powerful House foreign affairs committee, said in a statement earlier in the month.