US President Trump calls India-China standoff in Ladakh 'very nasty', offers to help
Donald Trump, President of the United States weighed in on the Ladakh standoff between India and China. He also referred to the novel coronavirus' Chinese origins and the country's deteriorating relations with countries across the globe.
Responding to a question about the India-China military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, President Trump said, "China and India are going at it pretty good on the border as you know. It has been a very nasty situation and we stand ready to help with respect to China and India. If we can do anything, we would love to get involved and help and we are talking to both countries about that."
He said in response to a question about whether China is bullying India, "I hope not. But, they are certainly going at it much more strongly than a lot of people even understand."
"Prime Minister Modi is a friend of mine and he is doing a very good job, nothing easy," Trump told the White House Press Corp adding, "We have great support from India and Prime Minister Modi. I think Indian people would be voting for Trump. I also went to India just prior to the pandemic. People are so incredible. You got a great leader and he is a great person."
The American President also told reporters, "China at this point is the nation you should be talking about much more so than Russia because the things that China is doing are far worse. Look at what happened with the China virus, look at what they have done to 188 countries all over the world."
Trump's comments come hours after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and a high-level Indian delegation held a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow. Both the defence ministers are in Russia for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting and are likely to have discussed the ongoing military standoff.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Chinese soldiers altered the status quo in key areas along the LAC in eastern Ladakh in May of this year. This resulted in a violent clash between PLA troops and the Indian Army on June 15. While India lost 15 soldiers in the clash, the Chinese also suffered an unknown number of casualties. Multiple rounds of diplomatic and military talks have been held between India and China to ensure disengagement and de-escalation since.