Following US President Donald Trump’s comments about having spoken to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the ongoing India-China standoff, New Delhi has dismissed claims of any contact between the two leaders since 4 April 2020.
Government sources in New Delhi have clarified the matter and said: "There has been no recent contact between PM Modi and President Trump. The last conversation between them was on 4 April 2020 on the subject of hydroxychloroquine”.
On Thursday, while reiterating the offer to act as a mediator between New Delhi and Beijing, Trump said: “They have a big conflict going on between India and China. Two countries with 1.4 billion people, two countries with great powerful militaries. India is not happy, probably China is not happy, but I can tell you I did speak to PM Modi, he is not in a good mood about what's going on with China.”
A day after India declines US offer of mediation, President Donald #Trump says that he speaks to Indian PM #Modi who is "not in a good mood about what's going on with China". Reiterates offer of mediation "If they thought it would help" #Ladakh pic.twitter.com/r4tTXKvhbF— Rishikesh Kumar (@rishhikesh) May 29, 2020
Earlier this week, Trump took to Twitter to say that Washington had informed India and China about its readiness and willingness to mediate their border dispute.
We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
However, the Indian government sources said: “Yesterday, MEA had also made it clear that we are directly in touch with the Chinese through established mechanisms and diplomatic contacts.”
India and China have been embroiled in a border stand-off since the first week of May along the Line of Actual Control, after New Delhi inaugurated a road connecting to the Chinese border. Beijing has accused the Indian Army of crossing into its territory and "attempting to unilaterally change the status" of the LAC in Sikkim and Ladakh. Both countries have reinforced troops on the border amid the ongoing standoff.