China has deployed 60,000 troops on India’s northern border: Mike Pompeo
The US secretary of state spoke of the India-China conflict along with other issues in a string of interviews since he travelled to Japan for a meeting of the ministers of the QuadUpdated: Oct 11, 2020, 00:21 IST
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Friday said China was amassing “huge forces” along the border with India and had already deployed 60,000 troops there, citing a previously unreported number that significantly scaled up the magnitude of the threat.
He also commended India for “diplomatically” pushing back by banning Chinese apps and ending government procurement of supplies made in China.
The US secretary of state spoke of the India-China conflict along with other issues in a string of interviews since he travelled to Japan for a meeting of the ministers of the Quad - an informal group comprising India, the US, Japan and Australia.
Pompeo and India’s external affairs minister S Jaishankar also met separately on the sidelines of the meeting.
“The Indians are seeing 60,000 Chinese soldiers on their northern border,” Pompeo said on The Guy Benson Show and added in a separate interview with Larry O’Connor, “The Chinese have now begun to amass huge forces against India in the north.”
The top American diplomat mentioned the size of the existing Chinese deployment of 60,000 troops along the border with India in several of the interviews as he spoke broadly of the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party to the world – touching upon issues ranging from security to health, including the Covid-19 pandemic.
“A million people now dead because the Chinese Communist Party didn’t respond to the Wuhan virus in a way that they should have. Economies destroyed as a direct result of that,” Pompeo said on The Guy Benson Show.
“The Indians are seeing 60,000 Chinese soldiers on their northern border. The Australians saw that, and when they had the temerity to simply ask for an investigation about the virus, the Chinese began to exert economic power against them to try to coerce and bully them.”
Underscoring the need for America to be engaged in the region and stand with allies and friends, the US secretary of state said on the Larry O’Connor Show, “They absolutely need the United States to be their ally and partner in this fight. But they’ve all seen it, whether it’s the Indians, who are actually having a physical confrontation with the Chinese up in the Himalayas in the northeastern part of India - right? - the Chinese have now begun to amass huge forces against India in the north.”
On the Hugh Hewitt Show, Pompeo spoke admiringly of India’s pushback. “The Indians have banned dozens and dozens of Chinese apps, and the Indians have stopped having their government purchase any product from China. That’s remarkable. It’s work that has been done diplomatically, and then there are the security issues, too.”
The US, which has since banned several Chinese apps and forced TikTok sell off its American operations, has strongly condemned Chinese aggression along the border with India, and has been supportive of New Delhi, fast-tracking, among other things, its defence purchase orders.
The US has adopted a more confrontational approach towards China in recent months.
“The old paradigm of blind engagement with China has failed,” Pompeo said in a widely anticipated policy speech at a legacy California library run by the foundation of late US president Richard Nixon, who re-established diplomatic ties with China and paved the way for its opening with a historic visit in 1972.
“If the free world doesn’t change Communist China, (it) will surely change us,” Pompeo had warned.