‘No need for third party intervention’: China rejects Trump’s offer to mediate in border row with India
China on Friday rejected the US offer to mediate in the current Sino-India border standoff, reiterating that the two countries have existing communication mechanisms to resolve problems.
“We do not need the intervention of the third party,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian said when asked to comment on US President Donald Trump’s tweeted offer that he was willing to mediate between New Delhi and Beijing to resolve the latest friction along the line of actual control (LAC) between the Himalayan neighbours.
Trump’s offer and the Chinese foreign ministry’s latest statement came in the backdrop of the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh and skirmish near the Sikkim border between the militaries of India and China this month.
Beijing’s rejection of the US offer comes a day after New Delhi had subtly let it pass.
“As I’ve told you, we are engaged with the Chinese side to peacefully resolve this issue,” Anurag Srivastava, external affairs minister, had said in New Delhi when asked about Trump’s tweet on Thursday.
On Friday, it was China’s turn.
“Between China and India, we have existing border related mechanism and communication channels. We are capable of properly resolving the issues between us through dialogue and consultation. We do not need the intervention of the third party,” he said.
Both Zhao and, for the first time, defence ministry spokesperson Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang commenting on the situation on Thursday, said the situation at the border was “stable and controllable”.
“The two sides have the ability to communicate and solve relevant issues through the established border-related mechanisms and diplomatic channels,” Ren had also said at an online interaction with journalists on Thursday.
“We have been implementing the important consensus reached by leaders of both the countries, observing the bilateral agreements and have been committed to safeguarding territorial sovereignty and security, stability and peace in the border area,” Zhao said at the regular ministry briefing on Friday.
The statements from the Chinese foreign and defence ministries are a sign, at least as of now, that the Chinese government is not willing to allow the situation to worsen through a war of words with New Delhi.
To be sure, India has rejected China’s assertion that its troops had carried out illegal constructions across the LAC.
“India is committed to the objective of maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas with China and our armed forces scrupulously follow the consensus reached by our leaders and the guidance provided. At the same time, we remain firm in our resolve to ensure India’s sovereignty and national security,” Srivastava said earlier this week.
Chinese state-controlled media here also dismissed the US President’s proposal, which he had tweeted.
“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,” the nationalistic tabloid Global Times said in a comment piece.
Titled “China, India don’t need US help on their frictions”, it said: “It seems Trump finally knows that China and India, the two largest Asian powers, share borders. Early this year, A Very Stable Genius, a book written by two Washington Post journalists, revealed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was shocked and concerned when Trump told him India and China did not share a border.”
“Last year, India turned down Trump’s offer to ‘help’ and ‘mediate’ between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, an issue India stressed can only be discussed bilaterally. India perhaps has been aware of the US’ bad history of mediation in which the US made troubles rather than solved problems, and which turned bilateral disputes into multilateral ones,” it said.