09:41 GMT24 September 2020
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    Faced with several problems at once, such as an unprecedented spike in daily COVID-19 cases and a slumping economy, the Indian government currently has a lot on its plate. However, the most pressing issue remains the border conflict with China in eastern Ladakh, where a fresh altercation occurred between the two troops in late August.

    The United States has maintained that India is one of the countries that China is trying to take advantage of amid the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide.

    While addressing a press briefing, US diplomat David Stilwell said, "What we have seen since the corona outbreak from Wuhan is it seems the PRC (People's Republic of China) is trying to take advantage of the situation, and India, I think, is one of those examples of that."

    Stilwell, who is the Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, again emphasised the US stance on the Indo-China border conflict, stating that it stands for a peaceful resolution to the dispute.

    "For the conflict in the Himalayas, like all things, especially related to the PRC's differences of opinion with its neighbours, we advise them to return to dialogue and, resolve these things peacefully and without coercion or the use of force," he said.

    Stillwell's report comes against the backdrop of fresh altercations between Indian and Chinese troops overnight on 29-30 August on the southern bank of Pangong Lake in the Ladakh region.

    While the Indian Foreign Ministry maintained that it thwarted China's attempt to disturb the status quo at the loosely demarcated Line of Actual Control, despite being engaged in high-level dialogue to resolve the conflict, China has accused India of "threatening its territorial sovereignty".

    The border stand-off between India and China in Ladakh has been ongoing over the past four months and escalated into full-blown physical clashes on 15 June. The countries are engaged in multiple dialogues, which have failed to yield results so far.

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    Ladakh region, border, China, India
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