U.S. closely monitoring India-China border disputes: State Dept.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is closely monitoring border disputes between India and China and backs their peaceful resolution through direct dialogue, the State Department said on Tuesday, while stressing that it stands with allies and partners like India.

"We note the ongoing talks between the governments of India and China," State Department spokesman Ned Price told a news briefing.

"We continue to support direct dialogue and a peaceful resolution of those border disputes," he said, and added: "We are concerned by Beijing's pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate its neighbors. As always, we'll stand with friends, we'll stand with partners, we'll stand with allies."

India and China have been locked in a military standoff over their disputed mountainous border and Indian public opinion has hardened against Beijing after soldiers were killed in a clash there.

Price spoke after a call earlier in the day between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

The State Department said the call's purpose was "to reaffirm the strength of the U.S.-India partnership" and issues of mutual concern, including Myanmar.

Myanmar's military overthrew the newly elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1 and detained her and other politicians from her National League for Democracy (NLD).

The two also discussed cooperation across the Indo-Pacific, the statement said, adding that they looked forward to expanded regional cooperation, including through the Quad, an informal grouping of the United States, India, Japan and Australia seen as a way to push back against China's growing assertiveness.

New U.S. President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed in a telephone call on Monday to strengthen Indo-Pacific security through the Quad.

(Reporting by Simon Lewis, Doina Chiacu, Daphne Psaledakis and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Chris Reese and Sonya Hepinstall)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021

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