The United States on Thursday asked both India and China to engage in dialogue to “reduce tension” at the borders. Referring to the ongoing border standoff between Indian and Chinese armies in the Sikkim sector, State Department Spokesman Heather Nauert told media persons that the United States is closely monitoring the situation. “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.
Responding to a question, she said the Indians and Chinese are talking on those issues.
“They’re going to talk to one another,” she said ahead of the Beijing visit of the National Security Advisor Ajit K Doval to attend the BRICS meeting on July 27 and 28.
“We would encourage them to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions,” Nauert said.
India yesterday said it is ready for talks with China with both sides first pulling back their armies to end the tense standoff in the Sikkim sector, stressing the need for a “peaceful resolution” of border issues.
China, however, said yesterday that diplomatic channels with India remained “unimpeded” to discuss the military standoff but reiterated that the withdrawal of the Indian troops from Doklam area is a “precondition” for any meaningful dialogue.
Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face- off in Dokalam area in the southernmost part of Tibet in an area also claimed by Indian ally Bhutan for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area. China claimed it was constructing the road within its territory, and has been demanding immediate pull-out of the Indian troops.
(With PTI inputs)