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Last Updated : Sep 08, 2020 12:35 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

India-China news: S Jaishankar says Ladakh situation 'very serious'

The external affairs minister said India China border situation calls for "very very deep conversation" between the two sides at a political level.


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has described the India-China border situation in eastern Ladakh as "very serious. He said there is a need for "very very deep conversation" between the two sides at a political level.

Speaking at an interactive session by the Indian Express newspaper, Jaishankar said the state of the relationship with China and the state of border situation with the country cannot be de-linked. Jaishankar is expected to have talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Moscow.

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"The state of the border cannot be de-linked from the state of the relationship. I wrote it before that unfortunate incident happened in Galwan," Jaishankar said referring to his newly published book 'The India Way'.

Tensions escalated manifold along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh after the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details. According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35.

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“If peace and tranquillity on the border are not a given, then it cannot be that the rest of the relationship continues on the same basis, because clearly peace and tranquillity is the basis for the relationship," the External Affairs Minister said.

Jaishankar is set to meet Wang on September 10 in Moscow on the sidelines of the meeting of the foreign ministers of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

"Exactly what I will tell him, obviously I am not going to tell you," Jaishankar said when asked what message he will deliver to his Chinese counterpart.

He, however, said the broad principle around which his position would be constructed would be about the importance of maintaining peace and tranquillity along the border for the overall development of ties which has been reflected in the last 30 years of the relationship.

The minister also talked about the number of pacts between the two countries on the border management since 1993, saying they clearly stipulate keeping forces at a minimum level along the border and largely shaped the behaviour of the armed forces.

"If these are not observed, then it raises very very important questions.... I note that this very serious situation has been going on since the beginning of May, this calls for very very deep conversation between the two sides at a political level," he added.

Jaishankar said there were problems left over from history as well. "We have problems left over from history which continue to be an overhang on the relationship," he said, calling the current standoff as of "a very different order".

(With PTI inputs)

First Published on Sep 8, 2020 10:47 am
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