US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has slammed China for using a tactical situation on the ground to its advantage and threatening neighbours such as India.

The comments came as the India-China border face-off in the Ladakh region entered its fourth week, with more talks slated at two levels —between military commanders and between diplomats.

Meanwhile, after a predictably belligerent article in the Chinese state-controlled Global Times newspaper, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday said: “Now the overall situation in our border areas is stable and controllable. We have unimpeded communication channels and we hope and believe through dialogue and consultations we can properly resolve the relevant issue.”

On Sunday, an article in Global Times warned the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has expanded its high-altitude arsenal since the Doklam standoff with India in 2017 to prepare for future conflicts.

“If in a new Cold War, India leans towards the US or becomes a US pawn attacking China, the economic and trade ties between the two Asian neighbours will suffer a devastating blow. It would be too much for the Indian economy to take such a hit at the current stage,” said the article posted.

Pompeo, asked about the China-India conflict in an interview with Fox News said on Sunday, “The Chinese Communist Party has been on this march for an awfully long time. They’ll certainly use a tactical situation on the ground to their advantage. Each of the problems that you identified there are threats that they have been making for an awfully long time.”

“I am confident that…our national security establishment will keep us in a position where we can protect the American people, and indeed we can be good partners with our allies from…all around the world,” Pompeo said.

CU Bhaskar, director of the Society for Policy Studies think-tank in New Delhi said the Global Times article is “an exercise in perception management. It is not the foreign ministry saying something.”

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