New Delhi: Amid the standoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed that China has amassed 60,000 troops on India’s northern border. He also lambasted China for its ‘bad behaviour’ and the threats it poses to the Quad countries—US, Japan, India and Australia. Also Read - International Flights: Air India to Operate Seven Flights a Week to This Country From Delhi, Bengaluru | Deets Here
“The Indians are seeing 60,000 Chinese soldiers on their northern border, Pompeo told The Guy Benson Show in an interview on Friday after his return from Tokyo wherein he attended the second Quad ministerial with his counterparts from India, Japan and Australia. Also Read - US Presidential Debate: "Look at China, Russia, India... Air is Filthy", Trump Justifies Stand on Climate Change
“I was with my foreign minister counterparts from India, Australia, and Japan a format that we call the Quad, four big democracies, four powerful economies, four nations, each of whom has real risk associated with the threats imposed attempting to be imposed by the Chinese Communist Party. And they see it in their home countries too,” he said. Also Read - Chinese President Xi Jinping Replaces 'Asur' in Bengal's Durga Idol; Picture Goes Viral
Notably, the foreign ministers from the Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad group met in Tokyo on Tuesday, in what was their first in-person talks since the coronavirus pandemic began. The meeting took place in the backdrop of China’s aggressive military behaviour in the Indo-Pacific, South China Sea and along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
Pompeo held talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Tokyo and the duo underscored the need to work together to advance, peace, prosperity and security in the Indo-Pacific and around the globe. He described his meeting with Jaishankar as “productive.””They see, the people of their (Quad) nations understanding that we all slept on this for too long. For decades, the West allowed the Chinese Communist Party to walk all over us. The previous administration bent a knee, too often allowed China to steal our intellectual properties and the millions of jobs that came along with it. They see that in their country too,” he said in the interview.
In another interview with Larry O’Connor, he asserted that India “absolutely need the United States to be their ally and partner in this fight”.
Notably, India and China are locked in a bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh since early May that has significantly strained the bilateral ties. Both sides have held a series of diplomatic and military talks to resolve the row. However, no breakthrough has been achieved to end the standoff. China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake in the last week of August.
(With PTI Inputs)