China too rejects US mediation offer

MEA denies contact between President Trump, PM Modi on Ladakh standoff

China too rejects US mediation offer

Taranjit Singh Sandhu

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29

After India, China on Friday too rejected US President Donald Trump’s offer to “mediate” between India and China to end their border standoff, saying the two countries are capable of resolving their differences through dialogue and did not require the help of a “third party”.

In an embarrassment to the US President, sources here denied his claims of having spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on India’s military standoff with China in eastern Ladakh. In fact, they underlined that no conversation has taken place between the two leaders since April 4 when they spoke on export of hydroxychloroquine.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been stressing on bilateralism to resolve the dispute even as the US, first by senior diplomat Alice Wells and later Trump, sought to triangulate it.

For the first time, the Chinese Foreign Office also spoke against the US offer for mediation. “We are capable of properly resolving the issues between us through dialogue and consultation. We do not need the intervention of the third party,” its spokesperson said at a media briefing here. “We have existing border-related mechanisms and communication channels between China and India,” he added.

The clarification from both India and China was prompt after Trump said in response to question that he had spoken to PM Modi and went on to say that the Indian PM was not in a “good mood” over the “big conflict” between India and China.

A day earlier, the MEA had said India was directly in touch with China through established mechanisms and diplomatic contacts to resolve the border stand-off.

Trump has offered at least half a dozen times to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, which was always turned down by New Delhi.

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