There has been no recent contact between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, over the ongoing border dispute between India and China.
This assumes significance as Trump has said that Modi discussed with him India’s border tensions with China.
“The last conversation between them was on 4 April, 2020, on the subject of hydroxychloroquine. Yesterday (on Thursday), the Ministry of External Affairs) had also made it clear that we are directly in touch with the Chinese through established mechanisms and diplomatic contacts,” one of the two people cited above said.
Donald Trump interacting with journalists in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday said, a “big conflict” was going on between India and China.
Trump also said “They like me in India. I think they like me in India more than the media likes me in this country. And, I like Modi. I like your prime minister a lot. He is a great gentleman,”
The president said “They have a big conflict …India and China. Two countries with 1.4 billion people (each). Two countries with very powerful militaries. India is not happy and probably China is not happy,” when asked if he was worried about the border situation between India and China.
Trump said “I can tell you; I did speak to Prime Minister Modi. He is not in a good mood about what is going on with China,”
On Wednesday Trump said on his tweet that he was “ready, willing and able to mediate” between the two countries.
However India on Wednesday said it was engaged with China to peacefully resolve the border row, in a carefully crafted reaction to Trump’s offer to arbitrate between the two Asian giants to settle their decades-old dispute.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said replying to a volley of questions at an online media briefing.
Anurag Srivastava said “The two sides have established mechanisms both at military and diplomatic levels to resolve situations which may arise in border areas peacefully through dialogue and continue to remain engaged through these channels,”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry is yet to react to Trump’s tweet which appears to have caught Beijing by surprise; an op-ed in the state-run Global Times said both countries did not need such help from the US president.
It said the latest dispute can be solved bilaterally by China and India. The two countries should keep alert on the US, which exploits every chance to create waves that jeopardise regional peace and order,”
In Beijing, Zhao Lijian Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday that both China and India have proper mechanisms and communication channels to resolve the issues through dialogue and consultations.
The Indian and the Chinese army personnel clashed with iron rods, sticks, and even resorted to stone-pelting in the Pangong Tso Lake area in which soldiers on both sides sustained injuries.
The troops of India and China were engaged in a 73-day stand-off in Doklam tri-junction in 2017 which even triggered fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.
Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.
-Davinder Panesar, NMTV News