Thursday 23, March 2023

India-China ties won’t be normal without stability in unsettled border areas: Jaishankar

Time Digital Report: India today made it clear that ties with China cannot be normal without restoration of normalcy in unresolved border areas across the Himalayas as Foreign Ministers S Jaishankar and Wang Yi held their first talks in New Delhi in two years.

Addressing a press conference after nearly three hours of talks, Jaishankar said the restoration of normal bilateral ties was conditional to normalcy in border areas where China has amassed troops.

Jaishankar said relations with China have been disturbed due to Chinese actions since April 2020, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

"I was honest in conveying our sentiment on this issue during talks with Wang Yi," the Indian External Affairs Minister said while referring to the eastern Ladakh standoff.

Frictions and tensions arising from China's troops' deployments since April 2020 cannot be reconciled with a normal relationship between the two neighbours, he said.

He noted that 15 rounds of talks between senior military commanders have taken place over the military faceoff in eastern Ladakh and pointed out that progress has been achieved on several friction points from the disengagement perspective.

"This needs to be taken forward since completion of disengagement is necessary for discussions on de-escalation to take place. I would describe our current situation as a work in progress, obviously at a slower pace than desirable, and my discussions with Foreign Minister Wang were aimed at expediting that process," said the Indian foreign minister.

The impact of border tensions on overall India-China ties has been visible in the last two years, he said.

"This is only natural since peace and tranquillity in the border areas have been the foundation of stable and cooperative ties," added Jaishankar.

He said his nearly three-hour talks with Wang addressed a broad and substantive agenda in an "open and candid" manner.

Asked whether terrorism emanating from Pakistan figured in the talks, Jaishankar said the issue came up.

Wang arrived in New Delhi last night from Kabul on his first visit to India in two years.

Jaishankar also said the issue of Wang's statement at the Organisation of Islamic Corporation meeting in Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir two days ago, which was earlier criticised by the Indian government, was also raised during the meeting.

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