“We encourage India and China to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions and free of any coercive aspects”
Washington: The Pentagon has encouraged India and China to engage in a direct dialogue free of any “coercive aspects”.
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. As a symbol of the U.S. military, The Pentagon is often used metonymically to refer to the U.S. Department of Defense.
For more than five weeks, the two countries (China and India) have been involved in a stand-off along a part of their 3,500 kilometers shared border. Since both the countries are populous and have very robust economies, and have fought a war over border disputes in 1962, the stand-off has attracted global media attention.
The United States on said that it is closely and carefully following the border standoff between India and China the Trump Administration said on Friday, July 21, urging the two countries to engage in dialogue to “reduce tension”.
“This is a situation that we are following closely and carefully. I’d have to refer you to the governments of India and China for more information on that,” State Department Spokesman Heather Nauert told reporters at a news conference.
Both India and China have rushed more troops to the border as the divide between the two neighbouring countries is turning out to be one of the longest since the India-China war of 1962.
“We encourage India and China to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions and free of any coercive aspects,” Gary Ross, a Defense Department spokesman, said.
Over the past week, the US State Department too have been making similar statements, but Pentagon has sought direct dialogue between India and China on reducing tension “free of any coercive aspects”.
National security adviser Ajit Doval will be reportedly heading to Beijing to attend a meeting of BRICS later this month. During his visit, Doval is expected to talk with his Chinese counterpart on this issue.
Responding to questions, the Pentagon refused to take sides on the issue.
“We refer you to the governments of India and China for further information. We encourage India and China to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions. We are not going to speculate on such matters,” Ross said when asked if the Pentagon fears escalation of tension between India and China.
Early this week, a top Pentagon commander told lawmakers that China is exploiting its economic leverage as a way to its regional political objectives.
“The Chinese have shown their willingness to exploit their economic leverage as a way to advance their regional political objectives. As China’s military modernisation continues, the United States and its allies and partners will continue to be challenged to balance China’s influence,” General Paul Selva, USAF, said in written response to questions to the Senate Armed Services Committee for his nominee for reconfirmation as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Selva said deterring war is an exercise in influencing China’s decision calculus, making diplomacy preferable to conflict and managing crises in such a manner that they do not unintentionally escalate.
“To do this, the Joint Force will engage with the Chinese military within Congressionally mandated limits, build alliance capacity through close cooperation, and uphold international law through appropriate operations,” he said in written response to the questions.