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Top US lawmaker slams ‘bully’ Beijing amid tensions along India-Chinese border

Top US lawmaker slams ‘bully’ Beijing amid tensions along India-Chinese border
US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel has accused China of “aggression” in relation to tensions along its border with India. Beijing and New Delhi said they would prefer to defuse the situation through talks.

Engel expressed concern over “the ongoing Chinese aggression” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which de facto separates Indian-controlled and Chinese-controlled parts of disputed Kashmir. 

“China is demonstrating once again that it is willing to bully its neighbors rather than resolve conflicts according to international law,” he said, urging Beijing to “respect norms and use diplomacy and existing mechanisms to resolve its border questions with India.”

The statement came after reports of two separate instances of confrontation between Chinese and Indian troops last month, which left injuries among personnel on both sides. India’s Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane clarified that the incidents in Ladakh – which is part of the Indian-held territory in the larger Kashmir region – were resolved through talks at local level.

US President Donald Trump has offered to mediate the border tensions between New Delhi and Beijing. However, both neighbors signaled that they seek to defuse the tensions via their usual diplomatic channels. India’s External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that the country is working with China to peacefully resolve the disputes through “established mechanisms, both at military and diplomatic levels.”

Likewise, Srivastava’s Chinese counterpart, Zhao Lijian, was quoted by the Chinese media as saying that the situation on the border is “stable and controllable,” and that both sides are able to “properly” resolve the conflict through talks via their existing channels of communication.

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China and India have several longstanding border disputes, which sometimes lead to standoffs and skirmishes. To avoid conflicts along the LAC, the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army agreed to set up a hotline last December.

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