Ladakh row: US ‘keeping watchful eye on China’s moves’

New Delhi: The US is keeping a watchful eye on China’s moves along India’s northern borders while working closely with New Delhi to exchange views on the ongoing developments amid the lingering border standoff between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh sector, a senior US defence official said.

“It is certainly an important area for us,” said Rear Admiral Michael L Baker, the US defense attaché to India.

“We do remain watchful. We do work closely with India to exchange our views on this area to make sure that we have a clear understanding of what we think may be happening and I think it is a space that both India and the US are going to remain watchful of over time. We cannot take our eyes off regional security issues,” he said.

His comments came during an interaction with a small group of journalists while responding to a question on Washington’s assessment of the 30-month-old LAC row and how things could play out in the coming months.

The border standoff between India and China is in its third year, with a full resolution still not in sight even though the two sides have had success in disengaging rival soldiers from some friction areas on LAC and talks are on to end the deadlock that has cast a shadow over the bilateral relationship.

The border row erupted in May 2000 and despite four rounds of disengagement from Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, Gogra (PP-17A) and Hot Springs (PP-15), the Indian and Chinese armies still have more than 60,000 troops each and advanced weaponry deployed in the Ladakh theatre. The two sides have held 16 rounds of military talks so far, but problems at Depsang in the Daulet Beg Oldi sector and Charding Nullah Junction (CNJ) in the Demchok sector are still on the negotiating table.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: US Navy)

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