External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said that China had violated its written commitments by gathering troops at the border with India and was responsible for the situation at the Line of Actual Control, The Hindu reported.
India and China have been locked in a border standoff since their troops clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China had put the number of casualties on its side at four.
The two sides have so far held 14 rounds of military talks for disengagement and de-escalation in Ladakh.
On Saturday, Jaishankar was speaking after a meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne in Melbourne. The foreign ministers of the Quad grouping – India, Australia, Japan and the United States – are holding talks in the Australian city.
Jaishankar said he and Payne discussed the India-China situation. “When a large country disregards written commitments, I think it’s an issue of legitimate concern for the entire international community,” he added.
Reports noted that Jaishankar, in a departure from his diplomatic tone, used strong language to criticise China.
According to The Hindu, the external affairs minister’s remarks about the standoff at the Line of Actual Control are the “strongest” in recent weeks.
The minister’s sharp remarks indicate the frustration of the Indian government over the way China has behaved, The Indian Express reported.
In response to Beijing on Friday calling the Quad a “tool” to contain China’s rise, Jaishankar said that the group’s aim was “peace, prosperity, stability in the region”.
Jaishankar also said that the Quad’s stance as well as actions are “clear” and that repeated criticism does not make them “less credible”, The Hindu reported.
On the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Jaishankar advocated for “diplomacy” while his Australian counterpart Payne criticised Russia’s behaviour.