No progress in relations until China…: Dr Jaishankar on border dispute

Dr Jaishankar said that the India-China bilateral relations will not move forward unless peace and tranquility is restored along the LAC

NEW DELHI | Updated: 08 June, 2023 4:49 pm IST

NEW DELHI: External affairs minister (EAM) Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Thursday said that the continued border stand-off with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is not in Beijing’s interest either and expressed hope for an early resolution.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Dr Jaishankar said that India’s relationship with major powers have progressed in the nine years of the Modi government, but the same can’t be said about China.

In a strong message to China, the minister said that the India-China bilateral relations will not move forward unless peace and tranquility is restored along the LAC.

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The two Asian powers have been engaged in a dangerous military standoff along the LAC, which serves as their de-facto border, since 2020. Over a dozen rounds of military level discussions and diplomatic engagements have resulted in disengagement of troops in some areas but a complete resolution is yet to happen.

EAM Dr Jaishankar reiterated that modern India could not be swayed by coercion, inducements and false narratives. “China consciously for some reason in 2020 violated agreements, and moved forces to the border area and tried to coerce us. I think we should give a clear message to them that until there is peace and tranquility in those border areas our relationship cannot progress. And that is what is holding us back,” he told reporters.

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Regarding bilateral engagement with China, Jaishankar expressed India’s desire for peace. “We engaged with China immediately after the Galwan incident… We conveyed information about the movement of their troops. We need to find a way to disengage; otherwise, our relations with China will continue to be affected by the border situation,” he stated.

Expanding on the issue, Dr Jaishankar clarified that the problem lies not in capturing land but in forward deployment. “It is not about China capturing land but the fact that both sides have made forward deployments which could take a dangerous turn anytime,” he explained.

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