India, China Discuss ‘Disturbed’ Bilateral Ties Amid ‘Abnormal’ Situation at Border

© REUTERS / @DRSJAISHANKAR/ TWITTERIndia's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi greet the media before their meeting in New Delhi, India, March 25, 2022
India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi greet the media before their meeting in New Delhi, India, March 25, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.03.2022
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a daylong visit to New Delhi on Friday, his first since violent border clashes erupted along the loosely demarcated Line of Actual Control (LAC). India and China’s bilateral trade continues to reach record levels despite tension at the border.
Describing the current situation at the border as “abnormal”, Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that the bilateral relations are “disturbed” due to the amassing of People’s Liberation Army troops along the Line of Actual Control, a loosely demarcated line dividing the two Asian neighbours.
“The frictions and tensions that arise from China’s deployments since April 2020 cannot be reconciled with a normal relationship between two neighbours. Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke about China’s desire for a return to normalcy, while also referring to the larger significance of our ties,” the minister said after the three-hour delegation level talks.
Jaishankar stressed that India wants a stable and predictable relationship with China.
“But restoration of normalcy will obviously require a restoration of peace and tranquillity. If we are both committed to improving our ties, then this commitment must find full expression in ongoing disengagement talks,” he highlighted.The Indian minister described the current situation as a “work in progress at a slower pace than desirable.”
However, Jaishankar underlined that the discussion addressed a broad and substantive agenda in an “open and candid manner”.
"I was honest in conveying our sentiment on this issue during talks with Wang Yi,” Jaishankar said while referring to the eastern Ladakh standoff.In June 2020, a total of 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops were killed in one of the several clashes in the eastern Ladakh in June 2020.
Meanwhile, the two countries have also discussed the BRICS summit scheduled to be held in China later this year. However, no talks were held about the Quad and the Indo-Pacific.On the Ukrainian crisis, the two leaders discussed their respective approaches and perspectives but “agreed that diplomacy and dialogue must be the priority”.
Earlier in the day, Wang also met India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval where the border situation was discussed at a length.
Doval stressed that there is a need for complete disengagement on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to allow the bilateral relationships to take its natural course.
Meanwhile, the Chinese side invited Doval to visit China to take forward the mandate of the Special Representative mechanism on the India-China boundary question.
Doval responded positively to the invitation and stated that he could visit after immediate issues are resolved successfully.
India and China share a 3,488-km border ranging from Arunachal Pradesh to Ladakh. Due to loosely delineated borders, two armies accused each other of transgression that rarely resulted into serious conflict.
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