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US monitoring India-China situation closely

Describing the Chinese military’s activities in the region as “destabilising”, US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper on Tuesday said America was “very closely” monitoring the situation between India and China along the Line of Actual Control.

Esper made the remarks during his interaction with London-based think-tank International Institute for Strategic Studies amid China’s renewed military assertiveness in eastern Ladakh as well as in the South China Sea.

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“We are obviously monitoring the situation between India and China very closely, what’s happening along the Line of Actual Control and we are very pleased to see both sides are trying to de-escalate the situation,” Esper said in response to a question on the tension between the two neighbours.

Asserting that the People’s Liberation Army’s activities in the region are “destabilising”, he said that it “continues its aggressive behaviour in the East and South China Seas.”, as reported in Tribune India.

In the midst of India’s border row with China, a US Navy carrier strike group led by nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz carried out a military drill with a fleet of Indian warships off the coast of Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Monday.

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The USS Nimitz is the world’s largest warship and the exercise between the two navies assumed significance as it took place in the midst of tensions between India and China in eastern Ladakh.

Esper said that the joint exercise between the Indian Navy and the USS Nimitz in the Indian Ocean just showed the growing cooperation between the two countries.

On 16 June 2020, it was reported that a violent clash took place between troops of the two countries near India’s Patrolling Point 14 in Galwan Valley. Twenty Indian Army soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed.

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