China is yet to clarify its position about the reasons and timing behind its military personnel intruding deeply into Indian territory in Ladakh, foreign minister Salman Khurshid said on Thursday.
Khurshid, who met Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi for a lengthy meeting on the first day of his visit, said it was not clear why the incursion took place.
“It is not clear why it happened… they (Chinese) were not offering us that background and we were not looking for that background. I did not look for it. Actually, we are not even ready with our own analysis,” Khurshid told in an interaction with Beijing-based Indian journalists.
He said what was more important was that the issue was resolved in a timely manner and within the laid down mechanism.
China, he said, appreciated the way India responded to the situation and there was satisfaction in the way the issue was resolved.
The important thing, Khurshid said, was the pre-April 15 status quo was restored. “They withdrew to their bases,” he said.
Khurshid, however, said: “It is not very helpful at this stage to apportion blame between them and us and it will only take away from the sense of relief and satisfaction that it was resolved in time not to upset the apple cart of what is going on, which is far more important.”
Senior Indian diplomats accompanying Khurshid will stay back for the weekend to further discuss the border dispute with Chinese counterparts including possible officers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
On Friday, Khurshid is meeting Premier Li Keqiang and state councillor Yang Jiechi, who is also the special representative for China-India border talks.
Khurshid said he raised the issue of Pakistan’s nuclear programme with Wang.
The Indian minister said China and India’s diplomatic stance converges on many international fronts including Iran and Syria. But that was not the case with Pakistan; Islamabad considers Beijing as its all-weather friend.
He said he “flagged” to China’s attention India’s concern over certain aspects of China’s relations with Pakistan, specifically mentioning its nuclear programme; Beijing recently signed deals to sell nuclear reactors to Islamabad.
“We only urge them not to allow anybody to use their relationship with them to India’s detriment,” he said. “I was not there to make him accountable to NSG requirements. Those are multilateral agreements to which I am sure they know their responsibility… and I am sure they will take the appropriate position,” he said.
Khurshid said he raised the fast-widening trade imbalance with China expressing interest in “major investment” in India and supporting liberalising the visa regime to offset the deficit.
He said Beijing responded positively to India’s concerns over the cases of two traders in Yiwu, Deepak Raheja and S Aggarwal, sentenced last year, and six diamond merchants. He said China released the two traders and they have gone back home. He added that China could have easily taken the position about “law will take its course” but did not.