China, banged by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's strong back for India's attempts to protect its sovereignty, a citation to the military standstill in Ladakh - has said in an assertion that the boundary issue is a bilateral matter and there is no space for a third party to step in. Mike Pompeo had said yesterday that the US "will stand with India as they face threats to their sovereignty, freedom."

After chats with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, in which the Ladakh issue was talked over, Mr Pompeo had said: "The US will back India in its attempts to safeguard its sovereignty and its freedom... Our nations are pledged to working together into enlarging our partnerships across many fronts."

Beijing said the development of bilateral ties between countries should not erode upon legitimate rights and interests of a third party and should be favourable to regional peace, stability and development. The boundary issue is a bilateral matter between China and India. The two sides have been considering disengagement and de-escalation in the border areas through diplomatic and military channels. China and India have the foresight and potential to handle their variances accordingly. There is no space for a third party to step in, said a statement released by the Chinese Embassy.

China also blamed the US for setting up an Indo-Pacific approach to maintain its influence. The Indo-Pacific strategy initiated by the US is to provoke fighting among different groups and blocs and to fuel geopolitical competition, in a bid to maintain the influence of the US, organize closed and exclusive ideological groups, Chinese Embassy said. Beijing struck out at what it called the behaviour of engaging in unilateralism and bullying and added: By hyping up the so-called 'China threat', the US is in fact making ploys for maintaining its global supremacy and suppressing China's development."

Mr. Pompeo arrived in India on Monday along with Defence Secretary Mark T Esper for the third edition of the US-India 2+2 dialogue.

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