India and China’s militaries were involved in a lethal clash at the Galwan Valley border on June 15, which left 20 Indians and unknown numbers of Chinese soldiers dead. Since then, the two countries have seen rising tensions despite efforts to resolve the dispute through diplomacy. Now China has warned Donald Trump’s US military not to get involved in the stand off, after officials blamed Beijing for it.
Ji Rong, spokeswoman for China’s embassy in India, took issue with remarks from US officials blaming the conflict on Beijing.
She said China are “always advocates” finding a peaceful and fair solution to disputes, and branded US officials of harbouring a “zero-sum Cold War mentality” against Beijing.
Ms Ji added: “China and India have the ability to resolve their border disputes bilaterally.
“We don’t accept countries outside the region pointing fingers, let alone meddling or making instigation, which will only endanger the regional peace and stability.”
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Her response followed comments from US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun.
The US official blamed tensions between India and China on Beijing’s “outsized demands to claim sovereign territory”.
He made the remarks in a meeting with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also blamed Beijing, and said: “The Chinese Communist Party is engaged in a clear and intensifying pattern of bullying its neighbours.”
The US and India are strategic partners, with President Donald Trump visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year.
The country previously claimed China is “likely responsibly for responding to conflict with India and terrorist and insurgent threats to and within western China”.
Mr Biegun said: “Our strategy is to push back against China in virtually every domain.
“We’re doing it in the security area. We’re doing it in terms of outsized demands to claim sovereign territory, whether it’s in the Galwan Valley of India on the India-Chinese border, or whether it’s in the South Pacific.”
Relations between the US and China have deteriorated this year, with Mr Trump’s government contesting Beijing’s claim over a number of territories.
Mr Pompeo previously took issue with China’s claim of “sovereignty” over the South China Sea.
He said in July: “Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them.”
Since then, both China and the US have conducted naval drills and operations in the area.