China v India: Donald Trump makes fresh offer to forge peace amid growing war tensions

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Tensions along the remote Himalayan frontier remain high but military commanders have agreed to take measures to de-escalate the months-long stand-off.

If we can help, we would love to help

Donald Trump

Speaking at the White House, the US President said: “I know China and India are facing difficulty, very very substantial difficulty.

“Hopefully they will be able to work that out.

“If we can help, we would love to help.”

It was not the first time Mr Trump has expressed a willingness to assist in negotiations but neither side is expected him up on his latest offer.

Earlier this month 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” of finding a peaceful and fair solution to disputes, and branded US officials of harbouring a “zero-sum Cold War mentality” against Beijing.

Ms Ji said: “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.”

Mr Trump first declared he was ready to arbitrate in their “raging border dispute” soon after it erupted back in May but India declined his offer at the time and Beijing did no respond.

Both sides have now agreed to stop sending more troops to the Himalayan flashpoint and to avoid any actions that might complicate the tense situation there.

Senior military officials from the both countries met on Monday and exchanged ideas on the contested border.

A joint press release issued by the Indian government in New Delhi said that both sides had agreed to “avoid misunderstandings and misjudgements”, and “refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground.”

The statement said: “The two sides also agreed to hold the 7th round of Military Commander-Level Meeting as soon as possible.”

Thousands of Indian and Chinese troops are currently amassed along a disputed stretch of border in the Ladakh region, bordering Tibet.

After weeks of tensions, a stand-off in the remote western Himalayan region erupted into a bloody hand-to-hand clash in June in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and China suffered an unspecified number of casualties.

Both countries have since said they are attempting to resolve the situation through diplomatic and military channels but talks appeared to have made little head-way so far.

Tensions remains high, with Indian and Chinese troops separated by only a few hundred metres in some areas.

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Earlier this month both sides said they had agreed to de-escalate the situation and restore “peace and tranquillity” following a high-level diplomatic meeting in Moscow.

Officials agreed at the time that troops from both sides should quickly disengage and ease tensions.

The nuclear-armed neighbours have not been able to agree on their 2,200-mile border despite several rounds of talks over the years.

The two countries fought a brief but bloody border war in 1962 and distrust has occasionally led to flare-ups ever since.

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