‘Parties involved to decide’: UN on Trump’s offer to mediate to ease LAC tension

Updated on Jun 17, 2020 12:02 PM IST

Both India and China have increased presence along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh region.

An Indian Army truck crosses Chang la pass near Pangong Lake in Ladakh region in this file photo.(AP Photo)
An Indian Army truck crosses Chang la pass near Pangong Lake in Ladakh region in this file photo.(AP Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi

The United Nations has urged restraint from both India and China amid the tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Reacting to US President Donald Trump’s offer, the UN Secretary General’s spokesperson also said that it is for the parties involved to decide who they want to mediate.

“It would be for parties involved to decide who they would want to mediate, not for us to opine. We’re looking at the situation and we urge parties to avoid any action that would make the situation even more tense,” the spokesperson said on Thursday.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday waded into the tense border stand-off between India and China, saying he was “ready, willing and able to mediate” between the two Asian neighbours, a statement that could irk Beijing more than New Delhi.

Shortly before Trump made his offer through a tweet, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press conference in Beijing that the situation on the China-India border was “generally stable and controllable.” The sides were communicating through both their front-line military units and their respective embassies to “properly resolve relevant issues through dialogue and consultation,” Zhao said.

Both India and China have increased presence along the LAC in Ladakh region. China was the first to adopt the aggressive posture as it moved 6,000 troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to the border area.

The troops have been moved to four locations in eastern Ladakh - three in the Galwan Valley and one near Pangong Lake. Sources in the government said that China wants to stop the infrastucture projects launched by India in the Ladakh sector. At the centre of the stand-off is a bridge, which once complete, would give soldiers easy access to Daulat Beg Oldie, the last military post south of the Karakoram Pass.

People aware of the development said that roads and other infrastructure projects will give Indian Army soldiers posted in the border area an advantage, and cut short the time needed to for the supplies and weaponry to reach them.

Many security experts and top government sources said that India should not back down from the stand it has taken, and should not bring back its troops. India has matched the China army’s deployment in terms of troops, capacity and resources.

The move was approved after a high-level security meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. The meeting was attended by National Securoty Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Choef of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and foreign minister S Jaishankar.

This is the same team that had led India’s response during the 73-day Doklam stand-off in 2017.

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