The U.S. Military is backing India in its eight-week standoff with China in territorial disputes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, according to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in an eight-week standoff that left 20 Indian troops dead last month. India has retaliated by banning Chinese apps, such as Tik Tok, according to an Economic Times report
Former Chinese military official Jianli Yang has alleged that more than 100 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers died in the violent face-off, but China is reluctant to reveal its casualty count due to fears of a revolt within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
While India has admitted to 20 casualties, China has yet to acknowledge its casualties and has maintained that the numbers were definitely ‘less than 20’, in comparison to the casualties on the Indian side.
As China flexes its superpower muscles by laying claim to all of the South China Sea, other countries, such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan are making counter claims to the area. The Navy deployed two aircraft carriers to the strategic South China Sea to boost American presence in the region.
“Our military might stands strong and will continue to stand strong, whether it’s in relationship to a conflict between India and China or anywhere else,” Meadows said yesterday.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton said that the US aircraft carriers are headed to the South China Sea to thwart off any Chinese misadventure against Taiwan or other countries in the region.
“That’s one of the reasons why we have those aircraft carrier groups in the South China Sea. I mean, look what China did in the southwest. It’s essentially invaded India over the last few weeks and killed Indian soldiers,” Cotton said.
China has militarized many of the islands and reefs under its control in the region in the hotly-contested territorial disputes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Both areas are stated to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are vital to global trade, according to the Economic Times report.
The Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party propaganda tabloid, boasted in a tweet of the “wide selection of anti-aircraft carrier weapons like DF-21D and DF-26” missiles, touted as “carrier killers,” with the PLA and said the waterway was “fully within grasp” of the Chinese military.
The tweet caught the attention of the U.S. Navy and the Navy Chief of Information tweeted back a clear message to the Chinese party that the Navy was “not intimidated” by those missiles.
And yet, there they are. Two @USNavy aircraft carriers operating in the international waters of the South China Sea. #USSNimitz & #USSRonaldReagan are not intimidated #AtOurDiscretion https://t.co/QGTggRjOul
— Navy Chief of Information (@chinfo) July 5, 2020
“The message is clear. We’re not going to stand by and let China or anyone else take the reins in terms of being the most powerful, dominant force, whether it’s in that region or over here,” Meadows responded. “Our mission is to make sure that the world knows that we still have the preeminent fighting force on the face of the globe.”
Meanwhile, Chinese and Indian troops met for Commander-level talks and will continue talks to ease tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), as confirmed by Beijing. China has said that steps are being taken to disengage and for de-escalation.