External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said a solution for the continuing tensions along the Line of Actual Control with China has to be found through diplomacy, PTI reported. The foreign minister said it was imperative for both the countries to reach an “accommodation” not just for themselves, but the world as well.
His comments came two days after the Ministry of External Affairs accused Chinese troops of taking “provocative actions” along the Line of Actual Control. Both the countries have been engaged in a border confrontation for months in Ladakh. On August 31, the Indian Army had said its soldiers had thwarted similar “provocative” movements by China’s military in the South Bank area of Pangong Lake.
“Our position there [in Ladakh] has been very clear – we have agreements and understandings with China,” Jaishankar said at the launch of his book The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World. “The agreements and understandings must be scrupulously observed by both parties. The reality is what happens at the border will impact the relationship, you cannot separate it.”
Jaishankar said the relationship between India and China has been “difficult” in recent times, but has been “good in many parts” as well. “I made this point a few days earlier in another context, I would say that I am totally convinced that the solution to the situation has to be found in the domain of diplomacy,” he added. “And I say that with responsibility.”
The minister said he wrote his book before the clash in Galwan Valley on June 15 claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese personnel. “This is not the easiest of times in the relationship, but I have taken the long view [in the book],” Jaishankar said.
The foreign minister will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Russia on September 10, where Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be present. “As to what I will be talking to my Chinese colleague when I meet him....We have known each other a long time so you can have a reasonable guess,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghi has sought a meeting with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh on the sidelines of a key Shanghai Cooperation Organization, according to PTI. However, there is no official confirmation about it yet.
Don’t meddle in border row with India, China tells US
Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong on Thursday asked the United States to not interfere in the border row with India. “China and India have the ability to resolve their border disputes bilaterally,” she said. “We don’t accept countries outside the region pointing fingers, let alone meddling or making instigation, which will only endanger the regional peace and stability.”
US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun had said Washington will push back against Beijing’s aggressive actions, including its “outsized” territorial claims on the border tensions with India.
Ji said China has “never provoked a war or conflict over the past 70 years” and always insisted on resolving territorial and maritime disputes with neighbours through consultations and negotiations on the basis of respecting historical facts to maintain regional peace and stability. “We believe that China and India have the ability and wisdom to handle bilateral relations properly and jointly maintain regional peace and stability,” she said.