Ahead of India-China military talks, US says China is trying to intimidate its neighbors

Ahead of India-China military talks, US says China is trying to intimidate its neighbors

A day before the 14th round of military discussions between India and China to find a solution to the more than 21-month-long clash in eastern Ladakh, the United States said on Tuesday it was closely monitoring the situation, noting that China’s behavior it was an attempt to intimidate his neighbors. The United States said it would continue to support its partners.

Speaking during a daily press conference, President Joe Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki said: “We continue to closely monitor the situation and continue to support dialogue and the peaceful resolution of these border disputes.” She was answering a question about China’s “aggressive behavior” on its border with India.

“We have been quite clear about how we view Beijing’s behavior in the region and around the world. We think it can be destabilizing. And we are concerned about the attempt (by the People’s Republic of China) to intimidate its neighbors, ”he said.

Psaki said: “We will continue to support our partners in that.”

Regarding the relationship with India in 2022, Psaki said that “you can expect our governments to advance a broad set of initiatives, from cooperating to combat the pandemic, intensifying actions to address climate change, working bilaterally and through the Quad , expanding our cooperation and investments in business, cyber and new and emerging technologies … and, as always, we are focused on strengthening the deep ties between our people and our shared democratic values ​​that underpin the relationship.

India and China are scheduled to hold the next round of Corps Commander-level discussions on the Chinese side of the Chushul-Moldo Border Personnel Gathering Point (BPM) on Wednesday morning.

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India hopes for constructive dialogue during the meeting. Sources in the security establishment said on Monday that “the Indian side looks forward to a constructive dialogue to resolve the areas of balance friction.”

Interestingly, delegations from both sides will be led by new officers at the meeting.

Lieutenant General Anindya Sengupta, who took over as commander of the Leh-based XIV Corps last week, will lead the Indian delegation on Wednesday for the first time. Although he was also part of the 13th round of discussions in October, the meeting was chaired by Lieutenant General PGK Menon, who was the head of the XIV Corps at the time.

For China, the delegation will be led by Major General Yang Lin, commander of the Xinjiang Southern Military District. During the October meeting, his deputy, Major General Zhao Zhi Dan, led the delegation, after a series of changes were made to the People’s Liberation Army. Major General Liu Lin led 12 rounds of these negotiations for China until July 2021, as commander of the Xinjiang Southern Military District.

However, even as India expected the two sides to agree to withdraw from Patrol Point (PP) 15 in Hot Springs, the meeting ended with both sides blaming each other. After the meeting, India said it had “emphasized that such a resolution of the remaining areas would facilitate progress in bilateral relations” and had made “constructive suggestions to resolve the remaining areas.” However, he said, “the Chinese side did not agree and could not provide any prospective proposals.”

Each side has a platoon-sized force of soldiers in the Hot Springs area.

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Aside from PP15, there are two more regions that are yet to be resolved. On the Depsang Plains, Chinese troops prevent Indian soldiers from accessing their traditional patrol boundaries at PP10, PP11, PP11A, PP12, and PP13. The area is near Daulat Beg Oldi, of strategic importance to India, near the Karakoram pass in the north.

In Demchok, some alleged Chinese civilians have pitched tents on the Indian side of the Royal Line of Control (LAC) and are refusing to vacate.

So far, the two armies have withdrawn from PP14 in the Galwan Valley, the northern shore of Pangong Tso, the Kailash Range heights in the Chushul subsector, and PP17A near Gogra Post. Both sides have more than 50,000 soldiers each in the region, along with additional resources of air defense, artillery, missiles, tanks and other military equipment.

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