India’s relation with China is going through a “very difficult phase” after Beijing violated border agreements, Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday, reported PTI.
At the Munich Security Conference 2022 panel discussion in Germany, Jaishankar said that there had always been peace between the two countries since 1975 as there was “stable border management” and no military casualties. The Indo-China war which started in 1967 came to an end in 1975.
“That changed because we had agreements with China not to bring military forces to the... we call it the border but it’s Line of Actual Control, and the Chinese violated those agreements,” Jaishankar said. “The state of the border will determine the state of the relationship, that’s natural.”
The statements at the Munich conference followed Jaishankar’s criticism of China from February 12, when he had blamed Beijing for violating written commitments by gathering troops at the border.
Tensions have prevailed between India and China since troops of both countries clashed in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control in June 2020. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the hand-to-hand combat. While China had acknowledged casualties early, it did not disclose details till February 2021, when it said four of its soldiers had died.
The two sides have so far held 14 rounds of military talks for disengagement and de-escalation in Ladakh.
On Saturday, Jaishankar also said that the situation in the Indo-Pacific and the Transatlantic regions were not comparable. He said that both regions have “distinct challenges”.
The minister said that if there was a connection between the situation in the two regions, European powers would “already [be] taking very sharp positions in the Indo-Pacific”.
In the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, the minister said that India’s relation with the other three countries in the grouping, the United States, Japan and Australia, had improved over 20 years.
“The Quad has a value in itself,” he said. “It is four countries who recognise today that the world would be a better place if they cooperated. And that’s essentially what’s happening.”
Jaishankar had arrived in Germany on Friday to take part in the security conference, which is aimed at discussing the escalating tension between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries and Russia over Ukraine.