US President Donald Trump while speaking with reporters at the White House on Thursday said that he is more liked in India than the media in his own country --the United States.
"I know. And they like me in India. I think they like me in India certainly more than the media likes me in this country, " Trump told reporters at his Oval office.
"And I like Modi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi). I like your prime minister a lot. He's a great gentleman. A great gentleman," he added further while briefing the reporters.
But when asked over ties between India and China, the US President said, "They have a big conflict going with India and China. Two countries with 1.4 billion people. Two countries with very powerful militaries. And India is not happy, and probably China is not happy."
Reiterating his offer to mediate between India and China on the border issue, Trump said that he spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is not in "good mood" about the ongoing situation with Beijing.
However, informed sources from the Ministry of External Affairs told ANI on Friday that there has been no recent contact between Prime Minister Modi and the US President. The last conversation between them took place on April 4, 2020, on the subject of hydroxychloroquine.
Asked about his Wednesday's tweet regarding his offer to mediate between India and China, Trump said, "I would do that. If they (China and India) thought it would help." However, Trump did not clarify when did he speak to Modi.
Trump on Wednesday tweeted that he is "ready, willing and able to mediate" between India and China."We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute," the US President said.
In response to Trump's mediation offer, India said on Thursday that it is engaged with the Chinese side to resolve the border issue peacefully.
India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that the two sides have established mechanisms both at military and diplomatic levels to resolve situations that may arise in border areas peacefully through dialogue and "continue to remain engaged through these channels."
Indian and Chinese field commanders have been holding talks on de-escalating the tensions.
China has also struck a conciliatory tone on the border issue with India, saying the two countries pose no threat to each other and should resolve their differences through communication, while not allowing them to overshadow bilateral relations.
"We should never let differences overshadow our relations. We should resolve differences through communication. China and India should be good neighbours of harmonious coexistence and good partners to move forward hand in hand," said Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Weidong, on Wednesday.
The tensions escalated between India and China following a number of confrontations between soldiers of both armies.
Troops of India and China were engaged in two face-offs in Eastern Ladakh and North Sikkim along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC), where troops from both sides suffered injuries early this month.
Studies over the anti-malarial drug, which is believed to cure the highly contagious coronavirus, have shown side-effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation. But Trump continues to defend his decision to take hydroxychloroquine saying he believes that it gives an additional level of safety.