New Delhi: India and China on Friday discussed how to take forward their ties, with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar conveying to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that the very large deployments of Chinese troops on the border areas in contravention of bilateral agreements is an “abnormality” in ties.
In remarks to the media after the three-hour delegation level talks with the visiting Chinese foreign minister, the EAM said that Wang Yi had also discussed Beijing’s hosting of the BRICS summit later this year to which it wants the leaders of the five countries to attend, including PM Modi.
Jaishankar said he was “very honest” in his discussions with the Chinese FM “especially in conveying our national sentiments” on the border issue. “The frictions and tension that arise from China’s deployments since April 2020 cannot be reconciled with the normal relationship between two neighbours.
“FM Wang Yi spoke about China’s desire for a return to normalcy referring to the large significance of our ties. I was equally forthcoming that India wants a stable, predictable relationship, but restoration of normalcy will obviously require a restoration of peace and tranquility. “And if we are both committed to improving our ties then this commitment must find full expression in the ongoing disengagement talks,” he said.
He said they still have some ongoing friction areas on the border. “We’ve also made a lot of progress in resolving some other friction areas and Pangong Tso is notable in that regard.”
EAM said that their talks focused on taking relations forward. “So, essentially, our discussion today was how to take this forward. The senior military commanders have been meeting. There have been 15 rounds so far.
“But the point is that so long as there are very large deployments in the border areas which are violative of the 1993 and 96 agreements, clearly the border areas situation is not normal. So the main point I laid out was we have a situation where peace and tranquility have been disturbed, so the situation there is not normal.
“So peace and tranquility is the foundation of the basis of going forward, so then obviously that is disturbed. If you ask me, is our relationship normal today? My answer to you is no, it is not. And it cannot be normal today if the situation in the border areas is abnormal, and surely the presence of a large number of troops in the border areas in contravention of agreements is an abnormality.”
On how hopeful he was of resolving the issues, he said he and Wang Yi have held meetings before, and there have been talks in parallel, not only the senior military commanders, but also eight meetings of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs.
“So they have made considerable progress. I don’t dispute that. In fact, I welcome that. But they haven’t sorted out the issue in entirety. So, our effort is today to sort out the issue in entirety and deal with the disengagement. So that it then allows us to look at the de-escalation possibilities,” he added.
On whether Wang had invited PM Modi for the BRICS summit later this year and how hopeful he was of the PM attending it in view of the border tension, the EAM said the two ministers had “discussed hosting the BRICS summit this year, which China naturally wants all leaders to attend”. But the EAM said that the discussion on the BRICS was separate to that on the border areas. “That was a discussion, there was a parallel but separate discussion in regard to sorting out the situation in the border areas.” (UNI)