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China amassing forces along LAC; Tawang clash shows provocative trend: US

'The United States would continue to remain steadfast in its commitment to ensuring the security of our partners. And we fully support India's ongoing efforts to de-escalate this situation,' Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder has said.

China amassing forces along LAC; Tawang clash shows provocative trend: US
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First Published Dec 14, 2022, 10:02 AM IST

Violent confrontation along the Line of Actual Control point towards the growing trend by the People's Republic of China (PRC) to assert itself and to be provocative, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder has said.

Also Read: Explained: Why China wants control of Yangtse area in Tawang

During a media briefing, Brigadier General Ryder said, 'I can tell you that the Department of Defence continues to closely watch developments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at the India-China border. We have seen the PRC continue to amass forces and build military infrastructure along the so-called LAC. But I would defer you to India in terms of their views. It does reflect, though, and it is important to point out, the growing trend by the PRC to assert itself and to be provocative in areas directed towards US allies and our partners in the Indo-Pacific.'

Asked whether the United States is willing to provide more military support to India to help them handle China's military threats at the border, the Pentagon Press Secretary said that the US would continue to remain steadfast in its commitment to ensuring the security of its partners. 'And we fully support India's ongoing efforts to de-escalate this situation,' he said.

Also Read: Days after Tawang clash, IAF to hold massive exercise to test capabilities on China front

The remarks are being viewed as significant in light of China's activities along the LAC in the last few months. On December 9, troops of the two countries clashed in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang sector, resulting in injuries to soldiers on both sides. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had on Tuesday briefed Parliamentarians, stating that the Indian Army -- with a "firm and resolute" response -- compelled the Chinese People's Liberation Army soldiers to retreat and foiled the attempt to 'unilaterally' change the status quo in the Yangtse area of LAC's Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh.

This was the first major reported clash between the two countries since the fierce June 2020 face-off in the Galwan Valley. The clash in Tawang came even as Indian and Chinese commanders have held 16 rounds of talks to de-escalate and disengage from border points where the two sides have been in a standoff since May 2020.    

When asked for the Joe Biden administration's views on the border clash, White House  Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, 'We are glad to hear that both sides appear to have quickly disengaged from the clashes. We are closely monitoring the situation. We encourage India and China to utilize existing bilateral channels to discuss disputed boundaries. Again, we are glad to see that there has been some disengagement on the clashes at this time.'

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for de-escalation in tensions along the LAC.

Also Read: Asianet News Dialogues: 'Can India get PoK back by taking on both Pakistan and China? Answer is NO!

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