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As tensions at India-China border escalate, US hopes for ‘peaceful resolution’

As the tensions between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of actual Control in Galwan valley of Ladakh escalated on Tuesday, the United States voiced hope that the two countries will peacefully resolve differences.

At least 20 Indian soldiers have died and more numbers are expected in the deadliest clash between India and China in 45 years.

“Both India and China have expressed a desire to de-escalate, and we support a peaceful resolution of the current situation,” the US State Department said.

The department said United States was “closely monitoring” the situation and, referring to India’s announcement of casualties, said: “We offer our condolences to their families.”

US President Donald Trump last month had offered to mediate between India and China, although his administration could not offer further details on what he was proposing.

The State Department spokesperson said Donald Trump had discussed the situation with China in a June 2 phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India is an ally of the United States, which has also been engaged in a diplomatic war of words amid coronavirus and trade deals. Alice Wells, then the top State Department official for South Asia, last month said that China was seeking to upset the status quo with India and had to be “resisted.”

The violent face-off between Indian and Chinese forces took place on Monday evening where an Indian Army officer and two soldiers were killed during de-escalation process in Galwan Valley, one of the flashpoints leading to standoff in eastern Ladakh region.

Later on Tuesday, the Indian Army in its statement said,  “17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the standoff location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20.”