LAHORE - US President Donald Trump on Wednesday offered to mediate between India and China over their raging border dispute. The US President had offered to mediate on Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India early this year.

“We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute. Thank you!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning.

Trump’s offer came after Indian defence sources said hundreds of Chinese troops had moved into a disputed zone along with 3,500-km-long frontier in India-administered Kashmir’s Ladakh region.

Two weeks ago several Indian and Chinese troops were hurt during fistfights and stone-throwing in another sector. There has been no violence reported since, however. While blaming each other for the flare-up, the two countries stressed the need to negotiate a settlement to the latest dispute along their tortuous border.

Last year Trump offered to mediate between India and Pakistan over their Kashmir dispute, but it was tersely rejected by India. Alice Wells, the top US State Department official for South Asia, claimed last week that China was seeking to upset the regional balance and had to be “resisted.”

 

India and China fought a war over India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh in 1962. China still claims some 90,000 sq km of territory under New Delhi’s control. While no shot has been fired across their border for more than four decades, there have been numerous face-offs. 

 

In 2017 there was a 72-day showdown after Chinese forces moved into the disputed Doklam plateau on the China-India-Bhutan border. Punches and stones were thrown this month at Naku La in India’s Sikkim state, which borders Bhutan, Nepal and China, before “dialogue and interaction” calmed tempers.

 

Indian defence claim Chinese forces moved into Indian territory at four points. The sources said hundreds of Chinese troops and vehicles have taken over the Indian-controlled Galwan valley, one of the four disputed sites. Diplomatic and military observers said both sides seemed to be digging in for another long face-off. Their rival foreign ministries have denied any fault but called for established negotiating channels to be used. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping sought to ease the tensions at summits over the past two years when they agreed to boost border communications between their militaries.