Pompeo says China took ‘incredibly aggressive’ action against India

US Secretary of State says the world should not allow China’s bullying to continue

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a speech at an event in New Delhi | Reuters File photo of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivering a speech at an event in New Delhi | Reuters

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China had taken “incredibly aggressive action” in the clash with India along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, adding that India did its best to respond.

“The Chinese took incredibly aggressive action and the Indians have done their best to respond to that," Pompeo said in a news conference at the State Department. "I put this in the context of General Secretary Xi Jinping and his behaviour throughout the region, throughout the world," he added.

Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which is believed to have originated in China and which has infected over 12 million and led to the deaths of over 548,000, China has continued its aggressive posturing against neighbours with whom it has border disputes.

On June 15, clashes between Indian and Chinese forces in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh led to the deaths of over 20 Indian soldiers, with an unknown amount of Chinese soldiers also suffering casualties.

While Chinese forces are said to have encroached into Indian territory in Ladakh, China has also engaged in territorial disputes with Bhutan, sent ships encroaching onto Japanese waters near the Japanese-controlled Senkaku waters, besides antagonising Vietnam and the Philippines with military drills in the South China Sea.

The US recently sent two aircraft carrier strike groups into the sea as part of its ‘freedom of navigation’ patrols, its largest show of force in the region in six years. Relations between the US and China have continued to sour, with both sides imposing visa restriction on the other as disagreements over Tibet rose to the forefront—the US imposed travel bans on Chinese officials who it said were restricting foreigners’ access to Tibet, following which China said it would impose visa restrictions on US officials with “egregious conduct related to Tibet issues”

"I don't think it's possible to look at that particular instance, Chinese Communist Party aggression in isolation. You need to put it in the larger context,” Pompeo said on Wednesday. “The world should not allow this bullying to take place. Nor should it permit it to continue,” he added.