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No talks between PM, Trump on India-China face-off: Sourcesv

New Delhi: After US President Donald Trump claimed that he spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on border row with China, the government sources refuted the claim and said there has been no recent contact between Mr Trump and Mr Modi.

Sources familiar with the matter said, ‘There has been no recent contact between PM Modi and President Trump. The last conversation between them was on April 4 2020 on the subject of hydroxychloroquine.’

On Thursday, the US President again offered to mediate and arbitrate between India and China on border row.

Speaking to mediapersons on Thursday, the US President also added that a ‘big conflict’ was going on between India and China.
‘They like me in India. I think they like me in India more than the media likes me in this country. And, I like Modi. I like your prime minister a lot. He is a great gentleman.

‘There is a big conflict going between India and China. Two countries with 1.4 billion people [each]. Two countries with very powerful militaries. India is not happy and probably China is not happy,’ Mr Trump said.
‘I did speak to Prime Minister Modi. He is not in a good mood about what is going on with China,’ he added.

When asked if his offer to mediate between India and China still stands, the US President said, ‘I would do that [mediate]. If they thought it would help about mediate or arbitrate, I would do that.’
In the past, the US President has offered to mediate between India and Pakistan with New Delhi rejecting it, saying that all issues can be resolved.

India on Thursday also said that it was engaged with China to peacefully resolve the border row.

‘We are engaged with the Chinese side to peacefully resolve it,’ External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday.

‘The two sides have established mechanisms both at military and diplomatic levels to resolve situations, which may arise in border areas, peacefully through dialogue and continue to remain engaged through these channels,’ the MEA spokesperson had added.

The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on the evening of May 5 which spilled over to the next day before the two sides agreed to “disengage” following a meeting at the level of local commanders.

Over 100 Indian and Chinese soldiers were injured in the violence. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in North Sikkim on May 9.

On May 5, the Indian and the Chinese army personnel clashed and even resorted to stone-pelting in the Pangong Tso lake area in which soldiers on both sides sustained injuries.

In a separate incident, nearly 150 Indian and Chinese military personnel were engaged in a face-off near Naku La Pass in the Sikkim sector on May 9.

The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, while India contests it.

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