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India-China standoff: US should keep its diplomacy ready to resolve issue, says former CIA analyst

Washington: The standoff between India and China at the Doka La area of the Sikkim section has enormous consequences for the world, including America, so the Trump administration should have its diplomacy at the ready, a former CIA analyst said on Wednesday.

File image of US president Donald Trump. Reuters

File image of US president Donald Trump. Reuters

Bruce Riedel, who is now working with the Brookings Institute — a Washington-based think-tank — said both India and China have built up their conventional forces facing each other in the Himalayas.

"China and India are now nuclear weapons powers with nuclear armed missiles targeting, respectively, New Delhi and Beijing. Both are huge economic powers with considerable trade between them," Riedel wrote in an op-ed in The Daily Beast.

India and China have been locked in a face-off in Doka La for 50 days after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the area.

"This is a face-off with potentially enormous consequences for the world. Neither side has asked for American intervention but American interests are very much at stake," he said.

The Chinese incursion into Bhutan coincided with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the White House, probably a deliberate move by Beijing, he wrote.

"Washington should have its diplomacy at the ready. We need experienced hands in the State Department South Asia bureau. We need the best possible ambassadors on the scene. Our military ties to India need to be on watch. JFK was ready in 1962, we should not be caught off guard today," Riedel said.

In 2015, Riedel wrote a book JFK's Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA, and the Sino-Indian War Hardcover, whose paperback edition is coming out soon.

The book gives an account of how then US president John F Kennedy came out in support of India during the 1962 war with China.

Updated Date: Aug 09, 2017 10:24 AM

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