United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday praised India for blocking several apps linked to China, AFP reported. On June 29, India banned 59 apps, including TikTok, WeChat and Cam Scanner, alleging that they presented a security threat to the country, two weeks after 20 Indian soldiers were killed and 76 wounded in a clash with their Chinese counterparts in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control.

“We welcome India’s ban on certain mobile apps from China,” Pompeo told reporters. He said that this ban will “boost India’s integrity and national security”. Pompeo claimed that these apps serve as the “appendages” of the Chinese Communist Party’s “surveillance state”.

On Tuesday, the United States Federal Communications Commission, the country’s telecommunications regulator, declared Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE Corporation as “national security threats”. All their parent firms as well as subsidiaries and associate firms were also designated this way.

Diplomatic relations between India and China have plummeted after the violent clash on the Line of Actual Control. There have been protests against the killing of Indian soldiers, and demands for a ban on Chinese goods. On Wednesday, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that the Centre will ban Chinese firms from highway projects. Meanwhile, reports said that all data on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s account on Chinese micro-blogging app Weibo had been deleted, and India was making efforts to get the account deactivated.