Follow Us:

China extends olive branch to India amid border tensions after US seeks discussion on HK at UNSC

Just before the US and China engaged in a diplomatic duel at the UN, American President Donald Trump tweeted that he had conveyed to both China and India that Washington was willing to mediate or arbitrate in the ‘raging border dispute’.

SNS | New Delhi |

Amid pressure from the United States, China extended reconciliatory messages to India after the US requested for an immediate online UN Security Council meeting to discuss a new legislation for Hong Kong to crush all dissent.

The US mission at the UN said that China’s proposed national security law for Hong Kong is a “matter of urgent global concern that implicates international peace and security, and warrants the immediate attention of the UN Security Council”.

Infuriated by the move, China’s Ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun tweeted that Beijing “categorically rejects the baseless request of the US for a Security Council meeting” and “legislation on national security for Hong Kong is purely China’s internal affairs”.

Just before the US and China engaged in a diplomatic duel at the UN, American President Donald Trump tweeted that he had conveyed to both China and India that Washington was willing to mediate or arbitrate in the “raging border dispute”.

“We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute. Thank you!,” President Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

Shortly after, the Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Weidong in a selective interaction with Indian media extended an olive branch to New Delhi over the ongoing face-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh between the soldiers of the two countries.

“China and India should never let their differences shadow the overall bilateral ties and must enhance mutual trust,” he said.

The reconciliatory messages came after weeks of simmering tensions on both Eastern and Western frontiers between the two countries.

Several areas along the LAC in Ladakh and North Sikkim have witnessed major military build-up by both the Indian and Chinese armies recently, in a clear signal of escalating tension and hardening of respective positions by the two sides even two weeks after they were engaged in two separate face-offs.

The nearly 3,500-km-long LAC is the de-facto border between the two countries.

Indian and Chinese troops have remained engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in several areas along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, signalling that the standoff could become the biggest military face-off after the Doklam crisis in 2017.

In the first week of May, 250 Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed with iron rods, sticks, and even resorted to stone-pelting in the Pangong Tso lake area near Ladakh.

In the second week of May, around 150 soldiers of both sides had a face-off near Naku La Pass in Sikkim.

In both the incidents, soldiers sustained injuries.

Meanwhile, the reconciliatory messages come a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday ordered the military to scale up the battle preparedness, visualising the worst-case scenarios and asked them to resolutely defend the country’s sovereignty.

Xi ordered the military to think about worst-case scenarios, scale up training and battle preparedness, promptly and effectively deal with all sorts of complex situations and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.

However, there was no mention of any specific issues that posed a threat to the country.

Meanwhile, the US-China military frictions are also on the rise with the US navy stepping its patrols in the disputed South China Sea as well as the Taiwan Straits. Washington and Beijing are also engaged in a war of words over the origin of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Also, the US has described China’s announcement to tighten its control over Hong Kong as “unilateral, arbitrary and disastrous,” saying the former British colony no longer qualifies to be considered as autonomous under mainland China.

China had proposed a national security law for Hong Kong in response to last year’s violent pro-democracy protests that plunged the city into its deepest turmoil since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Hong Kong, an economic powerhouse, is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. It has observed a “one country, two systems” policy since Britain returned sovereignty to China on July 1, 1997, which has allowed it certain freedoms the rest of China does not have.