Expressing concern over China’s “aggressive behaviour” in territorial disputes, including with India, a top US senator on Tuesday said that Beijing has all too often sought to “redraw” the map of Asia without regard for its neighbours.
The troops of India and China are locked in an over eight-week standoff in several areas in eastern Ladakh including Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley and Gogra Hot Spring since May 5. The situation deteriorated last month following the Galwan Valley clashes that left 20 Indian Army personnel dead as the two sides significantly bolstered their deployments in most areas along the LAC. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.
The Chinese military has begun withdrawing troops from the Galwan Valley and Gogra Hot Spring after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held lengthy talks on Sunday. Doval and Wang are also the special representatives on the India-China boundary talks.
“As India and China work to disengage along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), I remain deeply concerned by China’s aggressive behaviour in territorial disputes,” Democratic senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee said.
“From the 2017 Doklam standoff, to the recent violence along the borders in Sikkim and Ladakh, to China’s new claims to Bhutanese territory, Beijing has all too often sought to redraw the map of Asia without regard for its neighbours,” he said.
The international community must be clear that such a behaviour is unacceptable, he added.
Menendez, the senator from New Jersey, said that US-India partnership, based on their shared commitment to democracy, is vital to uphold international law, international norms and the institutions that can peacefully and diplomatically resolve disputes and aggression.
“I am committed to working with the Indian government and the Indian-American community in New Jersey and throughout the United States to advance US-India cooperation,” Menendez said.