The U.S. supports a “peaceful resolution” of the current conflict between India and China, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed on Monday along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan area in Ladakh.
“We are closely monitoring the situation between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control. We note the Indian military has announced that 20 soldiers have died, and we offer our condolences to their families,” a State Department spokesperson told The Hindu via email on Wednesday morning (India time). “Both India and China have expressed a desire to de-escalate, and we support a peaceful resolution of the current situation.”
Asked if U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had spoken to his counterpart, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, on the issue or if the U.S. had reached out to India at any other level, the spokesperson referred to the June 2 phone call between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump, saying the two leaders had discussed the border situation then.
A White House readout for the June 2 call had referred to Mr. Modi and Mr. Trump discussing “regional security issues” — without naming China while a readout of the same call from the Prime Minister’s Office referred explicitly to “the situation on the India-China border.” The U.S.-China relationship is currently under strain due to bilateral trade and intellectual property issues between the countries as well as China’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic and its recent legislative actions in Hong Kong.
“We are monitoring the situation between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh,” a senior administration official separately told The Hindu, offering their “deepest condolences” to the families of the soldiers who died.