New Delhi: The Chinese Embassy in India on Wednesday accused US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and secretary of defence Mark Esper of having violated diplomatic norms by repeating “old lies” against Beijing during their official trip to India.
The two senior cabinet members of President Donald Trump’s administration were in India on a two-day visit to take part in the third ‘two plus two’ India-US ministerial dialogue.
Both during and after the talks, the US officials had talked about “threats” from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the need to confront them in order to preserve peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
“The challenge of defeating the pandemic that came from Wuhan also fed into our robust discussions about the Chinese Communist Party. Our leaders and our citizens see with increasing clarity that the CCP is no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency, nor to freedom of navigation – the foundation of a free and open and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” said Pompeo.
In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, the Chinese embassy stated that the senior US officials, led by Pompeo, “repeated old lies, attacked and made allegations against China, violated the norms of international relations and basic principles of diplomacy, instigated China’s relations with other countries in the region, which once again exposed their Cold War mentality and ideological bias”.
It asserted that the ‘Indo-Pacific’ strategy was a US policy to “stir up confrontation among different groups and blocs and to stoke geopolitical competition, in a bid to maintain the dominance of the US, organise closed and exclusive ideological cliques”.
“The difficulties and challenges facing the world could only be coped with when all people join hands and pull together. Peaceful development and win-win cooperation are the only right path forward,” said the statement from the Chinese embassy.
During the ‘2+2’ dialogue, India and the US signed five agreements, including the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) that will allow for real-time sharing of geospatial data.
Earlier this month, Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar travelled to Tokyo for a meeting of the ‘Quad’ foreign ministers. This was the second ministerial-level meeting of the Quad countries of US, India, Japan and Australia, but it was the first such stand-alone summit.
India has also invited Australia after a decade to the trilateral Malabar naval exercises with Japan and the US, which will bring together all the ‘Quad’ countries on a military platform.
Currently, India and China are in a six-month-long military stand-off in eastern Ladakh, which has shown no signs of de-escalating even after multiple rounds of diplomatic and military talks. The stand-off, which has been the most serious in decades, has already caused the death of 20 Indian soldiers in a violent encounter in June.
The Chinese embassy’s statement noted that the boundary question was a “bilateral matter between China and India”.
“The two sides have been discussing disengagement and de-escalation in the border areas through diplomatic and military channels. China and India have the wisdom and ability to handle their differences properly. There’s no space for a third party to intervene,” it stated.
The Chinese embassy also asserted that the leadership of the Communist Party of China “is a choice of history and people”.
“According to surveys conducted by international authoritative institutions, the Chinese people’s satisfaction and trust toward the CPC-led Chinese government exceed 90 percent. Anyone who turns a blind eye to the fact that the CPC is endorsed and supported by the Chinese people or wantonly slanders the CPC is openly standing on the opposite side of the Chinese people,” it said.