Donald Trump’s mediation tweet is part of growing anti-China juggernaut

People closely involved with India-US discussions and developments said the president’s tweet conformed to continuing hardening of his antipathy for China, driven by powerful China hawks in the administration,.
In a tweet on May 27, 2020. US President Donald Trump offered to mediate between India and China ‘raging border dispute’.(REUTERS)
In a tweet on May 27, 2020. US President Donald Trump offered to mediate between India and China ‘raging border dispute’.(REUTERS)
Updated on May 28, 2020 12:29 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Washington | ByYashwant Raj

President Donal Trump on Wednesday said he has offered to arbitrate the India-China border dispute in what is being seen as move that will irk Beijing more than New Delhi, given the steadily rising hostility and antipathy towards China in the United States over the Covid-19 outbreak, which comes on top of months of differences over trade and mounting irritation over theft of intellectual property.

“We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute,” Trump wrote in a tweet Wednesday morning.

The United States has been closely watching the latest flare-up on the India-China border, and had sided with India in its first official response. The flare-ups were a “reminder that Chinese aggression is not always just rhetorical”.,” Alice Wells, the top US diplomat for South and Central Asia had told reporters last week.

ALSO WATCH | India-China tension | Donald Trump’s offer, more troops at LAC: All updates

“Whether it’s in the South China Sea or whether it’s along the border with India, we continue to see provocations and disturbing behaviour by China that raises questions about how China seeks to use its growing power,” she had added.

There were no followup pronouncements from the US since, till the morning tweet from the president, with his offer to mediate. No official explanation was forthcoming of the president’s new offer and it was not clear if either India and China had asked the American leader to intervene. A response is awaited from the White House to a request for more information.

But people closely involved with India-US discussions and developments said the president’s tweet conformed to continuing hardening of his antipathy for China, driven by powerful China hawks in the administration,.

“It’s a move to poke the Chinese, surely,” said a person familiar with these matters, “much like a class teacher calling two squabbling students.” China believes it belongs to a more senior class, argument goes, and will not take kindly to being “monitored” with India by a higher authority.

“Think how Indians feel when someone offers to arbitrate their dispute with Pakistan,” it was said.

India will reject the president’s offer as it has rejected all third-party mediation in any of its international disputes as a matter a policy, which has widespread bipartisan endorsement from all political parties. It had earlier rejected President Trump’s offer to mediate the dispute with Pakistan within minutes of it being made, at the urging of Prime Minister Imran Khan.”

President Trump and his Republican allies have been attacking China relentlessly over the Covid-19 outbreak, in a bid to hold it responsible also for its spread in America, which is now the epicenter of the pandemic with the most cases and fatalities.

Trump has called for an independent investigation into the origin of the outbreak — American officials have suggested the virus might have leaked from a virology lab in Wuhan — and China’s handling of it, including the exact magnitude of the devastation their, accusing Beijing of covering it up.

On Tuesday the president told reporters to expect the announcement of an “interesting” action against China, regarding developments in Hong Kong, where protests have broken out against Beijing’s attempt to criminalize disrespect to the national flag. He did not specify.

“We’re doing something now. I think you’ll find it very interesting, but I won’t be talking about it today,” he said responding to a question if he was contemplating sanctions.

In recent weeks, the Trump administration has severely restricted US stay of Chinese journalists deemed working for state-run outfits and announced alerts for its pharmaceutical companies and research institutions working on Covid-19 vaccine and therapeutics about Chinese attempts to steal their work through cyber-hacking.

Close Trump allies on Capital Hill have been calling for restricting Chinese students only to certain course in institutions of higher studies. “It’s a scandal to me that we have trained so many of the Chinese communists,” Senator Tom Cotton said recently. “If Chinese students want to come here and learn Shakespeare and the Federalist Papers—that’s what they need to learn from America; they don’t need to learn quantum computing and artificial intelligence from America.”

About About two-thirds of Americans — 66% — have an unfavourable view of China, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center, conducted in March. “This is the most negative rating for the country since the Center began asking the question in 2005 and is up nearly 20 percentage points since the start of the Trump administration. (January 2017),” research body said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Smoke rises from a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on Monday. (REUTERS)

    To offset Russia’s oil revenues, G7 moves towards imposing ‘price caps’ on its exports

    In a move that may have an impact on the terms of the growing Russia-India energy partnership - India has enhanced import of Russian energy since the war in Ukraine began as energy prices spiral - the G7 countries are considering imposing “price caps” on Russia's oil to dilute revenue inflows to Moscow. The West has alleged that these inflows are helping Russian President Vladimir Putin finance the war in Ukraine.

  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

    Ties to Russia cannot return to what they were pre-Ukraine war: Scholz

    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at a summit of the Group of Seven rich democracies on Monday there would be no return to the times before Russia's attack on Ukraine, which had ushered in long-term changes in international relations. "It is good, important and necessary that we talk to each other. Listening to each other creates mutual understanding and makes our work easier," he said.

  • Leonardo Del Vecchio. (AFP File photo)

    Leonardo Del Vecchio, billionaire Ray-Ban owner, dies at 87

    Leonardo Del Vecchio, the Italian entrepreneur who transformed the tiny optics workshop he started in the Dolomite mountains into the undisputed world leader in eyewear and amassed one of the biggest fortunes in his country along the way, has died. The rise brought Del Vecchio the second-largest fortune is Italy -- after the chocolate-making Ferrero family -- with a net worth was $25.7 billion as of June 1, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

  • A view shows a tram depot destroyed by a Russian missile strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv. (File image)

    Russian shelling kills four in Kharkiv: Ukraine official

    Russian shelling of the city of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine killed four people and wounded 19 on Monday, the regional governor said. There was no immediate comment from Russia, which denies targeting civilians. Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. "Doctors are providing all the necessary assistance. Information on the number of victims is being updated," Oleh Synehubov, governor of the Kharkiv region, said on the Telegram messaging app.

  • The directorate said authorities sealed off the area after evacuating the injured to hospitals. (Representational image)

    10 dead, 251  injured in toxic gas leak in Jordan's Aqaba port 

    The Public Security Directorate said a gas tank sprung a leak while being transported. It did not identify the contents of the tanker. The directorate said authorities sealed off the area after evacuating the injured to hospitals and sent specialists in to deal with the leak. The directorate said 10 people were killed and 251 injured. A local health official, Dr. Jamal Obeidat, urged people to stay inside and close windows and doors.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, June 28, 2022