India and China discuss border standoff dragging on since 2020


NEW DELHI — Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks on Thursday on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s summit in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, amid a lingering border standoff between the neighboring Asian giants.

This was the first high-level contact between the two sides since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government secured a third five-year term last month.

“Discussed early resolution of remaining issues in border areas. Agreed to redouble efforts through diplomatic and military channels to that end,” Jaishankar posted on X (formerly Twitter), along with a picture of them shaking hands.

The two countries have been locked in a border standoff in the eastern Ladakh region along their Himalayan boundary since 2020, when a deadly hand-to-hand clash broke out between their troops, killing 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers.

They have been negotiating through diplomatic and military channels to ease the tensions in eastern Ladakh, and in 2021 agreed to pull back their forces from one of the friction points in their standoff in the region. The remaining issues to be resolved mainly related to patrolling rights.

In his post, Jaishankar asserted that respecting the Line of Actual Control — the de facto 3,500-kilometer boundary between India and China — and ensuring peace and tranquility in the border areas is essential, saying “The three mutuals — mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interest — will guide our bilateral ties.”

In an interview with Nikkei Asia in March, Jaishankar said, “With China, the main issue is to ensure continued adherence to past commitments, maintenance of peace and tranquility in border areas and arriving at a sustainable equilibrium.”

Separately, India’s Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement saying, “The two Ministers agreed that the prolongation of the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side.”

Jaishankar highlighted the need to redouble efforts to achieve “complete disengagement” in order to remove obstacles toward the return of normalcy in bilateral ties, the statement said. “He reaffirmed the importance of fully abiding by relevant bilateral agreements, protocols, and understandings reached between the two Governments in the past.”

Jaishankar and Wang also exchanged views on the global situation, with India extending its support for China’s presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation next year.

souce : asia.nikkei

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