USA Offers Mediation Between India and China | 28 May 2020

Why in News

Recently, the USA President has offered to mediate between India and China over the Indo-China border standoff.


  • Currently, India and China faces standoff at least four points along the LAC, including Pangong Tso lake, Demchok and Galwan Valley in Ladakh and Naku La in Sikkim.
  • The tensions between two countries escalated along the LAC after China ordered the military to scale up battle preparedness and asked it to resolutely defend the country’s sovereignty.
    • Subsequently, India has also increased its presence on the boundary with China in North Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, along with Ladakh.
  • So far, at least six rounds of talks have been held between Indian and Chinese military commanders in Ladakh on the ground but have failed to achieve a breakthrough.

Key Points

  • Offer by USA:
    • The USA President has informed both India and China that the United States is willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their raging border dispute.
    • It is the first time that the USA made such an offer to India and China, referring to the LAC situation as a “raging border dispute”.
      • In the past, the USA had offered to mediate between India and Pakistan over Kashmir but it was rejected by India. India had cleared its position stating that the issue can only be discussed bilaterally.
    • The offer comes amid ongoing issues between the USA and China over the origin of Covid-19 and trade tensions between the two countries.
    • Recently, the USA’s National Security Adviser also said that the U.S. could impose sanctions on both Beijing and Hong Kong, if China were to go ahead and impose a national security law on Hong Kong.
  • China’s Stand:
    • China has cleared that both countries would resolve the standoff bilaterally. It has also stated that the situation at the border with India is “overall stable and controllable”.
    • It has also stated that India and China have good border related mechanisms and communication channels and any issue can be resolved through dialogue and consultation.
  • India’s Stand:
    • India has not given any official response to the USA’s offer for mediation between India and China.
    • But, in the past India has rejected all offers for third party mediation.
    • India has been carrying out high level meetings to open diplomatic channels to resolve the issue peacefully.

Way Forward

  • The differing accounts in national and international media of escalation and continuing stalemate has created uncertainty in the scenario.
  • In the Wuhan and Mahabalipuram summits, both China and India had reaffirmed that they will make efforts to ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas.
  • Both countries have resolved border issues peacefully in the past four decades which gives the hope that the tensions will subside soon.
  • The peaceful resolution between India and China is essential for their own growth and development as well as for maintenance of global peace.