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Monitoring India-China issue, don’s want situation to escalate: top US official

“We as a government are covering the situation in the Himalayas closely, and understandably. We certainly want to ensure that the situation doesn't escalate," the official said.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi |
Updated: October 25, 2020 7:29:55 am
India, China hold ninth round of LAC talksThe latest effort came two-and-a-half months after the last round of discussions between the two sides on November 6, with around 50,000 troops deployed in the region, along with additional artillery, tanks, and air defence assets. (AP/File)

With Indian and Chinese troops locked in a border standoff for the last five and half months, the US is closely monitoring the border row between India and China and does not want the situation to escalate, a senior US administration official said on Saturday.

The official told the reporters during a telephonic conference call early Saturday, ahead of the next week’s 2+2 India-US ministerial in New Delhi, that the Trump administration was providing support to India through defence sales, joint military exercises and information sharing.

The Indian Express had reported earlier that the cooperation includes sharing of high-end satellite images, telephone intercepts, and data sharing of Chinese troops and weapons deployment along the 3,488 km India-China LAC.

“We as a government are covering the situation in the Himalayas closely, and understandably. We certainly want to ensure that the situation doesn’t escalate,” the official said.

In response to a question, the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the US was having an ongoing dialogue with Indian about increased cooperation in Southeast Asia, and not simply about the South China Sea.

“And we encourage their involvement. That cuts across development investments, it cuts across security cooperation, and then it also involves presence. So, we welcome greater Indian participation in Southeast Asia across all three of those areas,” said the official.

Quad – comprising Japan, India, Australia and the United States – is not an alliance but a grouping of countries driven by shared interests and values and interested in strengthening a rules-based order in the strategically-important Indo-Pacific region, the senior administration official said.

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