The United States was closely monitoring the situation along the India-China border and was concerned about Beijing’s “attempts to intimidate its neighbours”, the country’s Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said on Tuesday, according to PTI.
“We note the ongoing talks between the governments of India and China, and we continue to support direct dialogue and a peaceful resolution of those border disputes,” Price said during a press briefing of the state department.
The US official also assured India of its support on the matter, without directly making a reference. “We are concerned by Beijing’s pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate its neighbours,” he said, according to PTI. “As always, we will stand with friends, we will stand with partners, we will stand with allies to advance our shared prosperity, security and values in this case, the Indo-Pacific.”
The standoff between India and China has continued since the clashes in eastern Ladakh in June that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China is also believed to have suffered casualties, but has not given any details. Both India and China have accused each other of crossing into rival territory and of firing shots for the first time in 45 years.
The ninth round of the Corps Commander-level talks between the two countries was held on January 24. In a joint release on the meeting, India said that it was “positive, practical and constructive” and that the two sides “agreed to push for an early disengagement of the frontline troops.”
‘Welcome India’s emergence as leading global power’
Price also referred to talks between US State Secretary Antony Blinken and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, adding that the US-India comprehensive strategic partnership was both broad and multi-faceted.
“We will continue to engage at the highest levels of our governments to deepen cooperation on many fronts and we are confident that the strong and upward trajectory of our partnership will continue,” the State Department spokesperson mentioned about the India-US partnership.
Referring to India as one of US’ most important partners in the Indo-Pacific, Price added: “We welcome India’s emergence as a leading global power and its role as a net security provider in the region.”
Price also welcomed India’s tenure at the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member and pointed out that the US remained India’s largest trading partner, with total bilateral trade increasing to $146 billion (over Rs 10.63 lakh crore) in 2019, according to PTI.