China yet to explain changed stance, massing of troops: Jaishankar on LAC row
Minister of external affairs S Jaishankar on Thursday said that the ties between India and China are under exceptional stress following the tension in the eastern Ladakh region along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). “Far from mitigating differences, events of 2020 have actually put our ties under exceptional stress,” he said.
While speaking at the 13th All India Conference of China Studies, the foreign minister said India yet to receive credible explanation for change in China's stance and massing of troops in border areas. "LAC must be strictly observed, respected; any attempt to unilaterally change status quo is completely unacceptable," he added.
"For all the differences and disagreements we may have had on the boundary, the central fact was that border areas still remained fundamentally peaceful. The last loss of life before 2020 was as far back in 1971 that is why the events in eastern Ladakh last year, have so profoundly disturbed the relationship," the minister was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Jaishankar said that after the 1962 conflict, the first interaction between Beijing and New Delhi happened only in 1976. The first Prime Ministerial visit to China after 1954 actually happened only in 1988. "Rebuilding of our ties was actually painstaking and arduous," he said, according to ANI.
On the relationship between the two countries going forward, Jaishankar asserted that if ties are to be steady and progress, policies must take into account learnings of the last three decades. "Whether it is our immediate concern or more distant prospects, the fact is that the development of our ties can only be based on mutuality. The three mutuals -- mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests -- are its determining factors," he added.
His comments come in the backdrop of the standoff between the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) along the LAC for over eight months now. The soldiers of both the Indian army and PLA are deployed eyeball-to-eyeball at friction points on the contested border. As many as nine rounds of corp-commander level talks between the two sides have failed to bring a solution to the impasse.
(With agency inputs)
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