“The message is clear. We’re not going to stand by and let China or anyone else take the reins in terms of being the most powerful, dominant force, whether it’s in that region or over here,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox News.
Meadows made the remarks while responding to the border tenstions between the two countries. ” And the message is clear. Our military might stands strong and will continue to stand strong, whether it’s in relationship to a conflict between India and China or anywhere else,” he said.
India and China have been locked in an eight-week standoff in several areas in eastern Ladakh including Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley and Gogra Hot Spring. 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.
In the first signs of reduction of tensions on the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Chinese and Indian troops have moved back 1.8 km from the site of the June 15 clashes at Patrolling Point 14 in the Galwan Valley. This rearward movement away from the LAC is part of an initial step of the disengagement process decided during the meeting at the level of the Corps Commander.
Meadows’ statement comes three days after two US aircraft carriers were conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea. China has also carried out military drills that have been criticised by the Pentagon and neighbouring states.
China and the United States have accused each other of stoking tension in the strategic waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from the new coronavirus to trade to Hong Kong. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said in a statement. US carriers have long carried out exercises in the Western Pacific, including in the South China Sea, according to the US navy.
Meadows also hinted that President Trump might sign an executive order that relates to China, among other issues.”I’ll give you a couple of hints, all right. So, a sneak preview here. We’re going to be looking at how we make sure that China is addressed, how we bring manufacturing back from overseas to make sure the American worker is supported. We’re also going to look at a number of issues as it relates to immigration. We’re going to look at a number of issues as it relates to prescription drug prices and we’re going to get them done when Congress couldn’t get them done,” Meadows said.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said late on Monday that the United States is “certainly looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok. “I don’t want to get out in front of the President (Donald Trump), but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News.
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