Written byShalini Ojha
The chief of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Eliot Engel, spoke on the underway tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), commenting on Monday that the aggression of the Chinese is a matter of concern.
This is the first time Capitol Hill waded into the matter.
Not mincing his words, Engel called China a "bully" too.
The Asian neighbors' relationship nosedived in May when frequent skirmishes were reported along the nearly 3,500-km-long LAC.
China alleged India was trespassing but New Delhi said it was working towards infrastructure, underlining that the projects won't stop despite ruthlessness from Beijing.
Patrolling was increased in areas like Pangong Tso Lake, Galwan Valley, Demchok, and Daulat Beg Oldi. Both countries brought equipment in recent days.
Engel, an influential Democrat, sided with India by saying, "I am extremely concerned by the ongoing Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control on the India-China border."
China has once again shown it wants to bully its neighbors, rather than solve conflicts with diplomacy, opined Engel.
He urged Beijing to "respect norms and use diplomacy and existing mechanisms to resolve its border questions".
He went on to add, "Countries must abide by the same set of rules so that we don't live in a world where 'might makes right'."
Engel is known to be a long-time supporter of India.
In 2019, Engel spoke with Harsh Vardhan Shringla, India's ambassador to the US at the time, underscoring that both countries must solve issues mutually.
"Engel reiterated his support for the longstanding US position on the Kashmir dispute, saying he supported dialog between India and Pakistan, but reaffirmed that the dialog's pace and scope can only be determined by India and Pakistan," Shringla had said.
To note, Engel's comment comes days after Trump offered mediation to solve the raging issue, an offer which didn't find many takers on both sides.
He also claimed he spoke with PM Modi, saying the Indian leader wasn't "in a good mood".
Soon, New Delhi fact-checked Trump disclosing that the last time they spoke was in April, and their conversation was limited to Hydroxychloroquine.
Meanwhile, the tensions between China and the US are also peaking, with the latter increasing patrol in the disputed South China Sea and Taiwan Straits. Coronavirus, which originated in China and battered the US, also soured their ties.
Amid the stress, Global Times, a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, recommended that India shouldn't drift closer to the US, as it won't gain anything.
"Fundamentally speaking, India has little to gain from engaging in a US-China conflict over any topic, with more to lose than gain, which is why the Modi government needs to face the new geopolitical development objectively and rationally," the publication reportedly said.
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