PM Modi, Trump Discuss India-China Border Tension, George Floyd Protests

US President Donald Trump also invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the next G7 Summit to be held in US

PM Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump spoke on the phone today, the government said

New Delhi:

The border tension between India and China figured among a range of important issues that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump discussed during a 25-minute phone conversation today, the government said in a statement.

The statement did not give specifics of what the two leaders discussed about the standoff between the militaries of India and China near eastern Ladakh.

Mr Trump claimed last week that he offered to mediate between India and China. However, top government sources had contradicted the claim, asserting that there had been no recent interaction between the two leaders. China also rejected Mr Trump's offer, citing the two neighbours are capable of properly resolving the issues through dialogue and consultation.

The US on Monday had said it was "extremely concerned" by the Chinese aggression against India along the Line of Actual Control. "I strongly urge China to respect norms and use diplomacy and existing mechanisms to resolve its border questions with India," said Elliot Engel, chief of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

India has said the Chinese military was hindering normal patrolling by its troops along the Line of Actual Control or LAC in Ladakh and Sikkim, and strongly refuted Beijing's contention that the escalating tension between the two armies was triggered by trespassing of Indian forces across the Chinese side.

The standoff is the most serious since India and China, who fought a brief war in 1962, were locked in a similar faceoff in Doklam, in the eastern Himalayas, that lasted nearly three months in 2017.

Mr Trump also invited PM Modi to the Group of Seven or G7 Summit in the US, the statement said. "President Trump… conveyed his desire to expand the ambit of the grouping beyond the existing membership, to include other important countries including India," the government said.

"Prime Minister Modi expressed concern regarding the ongoing civil disturbances in the US, and conveyed his best wishes for an early resolution of the situation," the statement said.

The two leaders discussed "topical issues, such as the COVID-19 situation in the two countries… and the need for reforms in the World Health Organisation", the statement said.

Mr Trump last week severed the US' ties with the WHO, which he said failed to do enough to combat the initial spread of the coronavirus. Mr first suspended funding to the UN agency a month ago, accusing it of mismanaging its handling of the global pandemic.

Then he accused the Geneva-based WHO of being a "puppet" of China, and said the funding freeze would become permanent unless it made "substantive improvements".