Washington, July 22 (The Indian Express): Expressing concerns over India-China border standoff, the Pentagon has encouraged both the countries to engage in a direct dialogue to reduce tensions and free of any “coercive aspects”. Defence Department spokesperson Gary Ross said in a statement to the media: “We encourage India and China to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions and free of any coercive aspects.”
India has taken a strong stand against China’s move to build a road in Sikkim’s Doklam area and change the status quo. It’s been a month-long standoff between the two countries since June 2016. Pentagon’s top commander, earlier this week 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.
Later this month, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will head to Beijing to attend a meeting of BRICS During his visit, Doval is expected to talk with his Chinese counterpart on this issue. The US has been “closely” following the border standoff between India and China, urging the two countries to engage in direct dialogue to reduce the tension. Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face- off in the Dokalam area of the Sikkim sector for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area.
(The featured picture at the top is that of the US Defense Department the Pentagon)