China has deployed 60,000 troops on border: Pompeo

China has amassed 60,000 troops on India’s northern border, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday as he hit out at Beijing for its “bad behaviour” and the threats it poses to the Quad countries.

Addressing the “threat” China poses to the Quad nations, Pompeo said India “absolutely need the United States to be their ally and partner in this fight”. He added, “But they've all seen it, whether it's the Indians, who are actually having a physical confrontation with the Chinese up in the Himalayas in the northeastern part of India, the Chinese have now begun to amass huge forces against India in the north.”

The foreign ministers from the Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad group - the US, Japan, India and Australia – met in Tokyo on Tuesday in what was their first in-person talks since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The meeting took place in the backdrop of China's aggressive military behaviour in the Indo-Pacific, South China Sea and along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. “The Indians are seeing 60,000 Chinese soldiers on their northern border,” Pompeo told The Guy Benson Show in an interview on Friday after his return from Tokyo.

“I was with my foreign minister counterparts from India, Australia, and Japan - a format that we call the Quad, four big democracies, four powerful economies, four nations, each of whom has real risk associated with the threats imposed - attempting to be imposed by the Chinese Communist Party. And they see it in their home countries too,” he said.

Pompeo met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Tokyo on Tuesday and they underscored the need to work together to advance peace, prosperity and security in the Indo-Pacific and around the globe. He described his meeting with Jaishankar as "productive." "They see the people of their (Quad) nations understanding that we all slept on this for too long. For decades, the West allowed the Chinese Communist Party to walk all over us. The previous administration bent a knee, too often allowed China to steal our intellectual properties and the millions of jobs that came along with it. They see that in their country too," he said in the interview.

In another interview with Larry O'Connor, Pompeo said in his meetings with his counterparts from Japan, India and Australia, they began to develop a set of understandings and policies that can jointly take these countries to work to present a true resistance to the threats that the Chinese Communist Party poses to each of these nations.

India and China are locked in a bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh since early May that has significantly strained the bilateral ties.

Both sides have held a series of diplomatic and military talks to resolve the row. However, no breakthrough has been achieved to end the standoff. China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake in the last week of August.

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