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India and China should engage in direct dialogue free of any “coercive aspects” to reduce the tension over a military stand-off in Doklam, the Pentagon has said.
“We encourage India and China to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions and free of any coercive aspects,” Gary Ross, a defence department spokesman told PTI.
“We refer you to the governments of India and China for further information… We are not going to speculate on such matters,” Mr Ross said when asked if the Pentagon fears the tension may escalate between India and China.
The month-long India-China border standoff in the Sikkim sector is seen as part of same Chinese coercive tactics to change the status quo.
India has taken a strong stand against such a Chinese move. National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval heads to Beijing to attend a meeting of BRICS later this month. During his visit, Doval is expected to talk with his Chinese counterpart on this issue.
“The Chinese have shown their willingness to exploit their economic leverage as a way to advance their regional political objectives. As China’s military modernisation continues, the United States and its allies and partners will continue to be challenged to balance China’s influence,” General Paul Selva, USAF, said in written response to questions to the Senate Armed Services Committee for his nominee for reconfirmation as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Selva said deterring war is an exercise in influencing China’s decision calculus, making diplomacy preferable to conflict and managing crises in such a manner that they do not unintentionally escalate.
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