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LAC standoff “visibly impacting relationship” in a negative way: S Jaishankar to China

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
LAC standoff “visibly impacting relationship” in a negative way: S Jaishankar to China

New Delhi: Referring to the border situation between India and China, the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that the “prolongation of the existing situation was not in the interest of either side” and that “it was visibly impacting the relationship in a negative manner,” the government said in the statement.

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Mr Jaishankar and Wang discussed “outstanding issues” along the Line of Actual Control in the meeting in Tajikistan that lasted an hour. Both also agreed on calling a meeting between senior military commanders from both sides.

The discussions between Mr Jaishankar and Wang took place at the Foreign Ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, an eight-nation regional grouping that primarily focuses on security and defence issues.

“Concluded a one-hour bilateral meeting with State Councillor and FM Wang Yi of China on the sidelines of Dushanbe SCO Foreign Ministers Meeting. Discussions focused on the outstanding issues along the LAC in the Western Sector,” Mr Jaishankar tweeted, referring to the Line of Actual Control.

“Highlighted that unilateral change of status quo is not acceptable. Full restoration and maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas is essential for development of our ties. Agreed on convening an early meeting of the Senior Military Commanders,” the Foreign Minister tweeted, along with a photo of him shaking hands with his Chinese counterpart. Both are in masks due to the pandemic.

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Recalling their last meeting in Moscow in September 2020, Mr Jaishankar emphasised the need to follow through on the agreement reached then and complete the disengagement, resolving the remaining issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh at the earliest.

The Foreign Minister pointed out to his Chinese counterpart that the successful disengagement in the Pangong lake area earlier this year had created conditions for resolving the remaining issues. It was expected that the Chinese side would work with India towards this objective, but the situation in remaining areas is still unresolved, Mr Jaishankar said, according to a statement by the government.

Indian and Chinese soldiers had clashed in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley in June last year. Twenty soldiers laid down their lives defending India. The Chinese are said to have lost over 40 soldiers in the violent faceoff.

After a nine-month standoff, the militaries of both the nations in February this year reached an agreement on disengagement in the north and south banks of Pangong lake that mandated both sides to cease forward deployment of troops in a “phased, coordinated and verifiable” manner.

India has not “conceded” any territory to China by firming up an agreement on the disengagement process in Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh, the government had said in February.

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