India-China ties not normal, border issues key: Jaishankar post talks with Wang
- EAM S Jaishankar addressed the media after holding extensive talks with his visiting Chinese counterpart Wang Yi covering the eastern Ladakh row and the geopolitical turmoil triggered by the crisis in Ukraine.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Friday said ties between India and China was currently not normal, given the large number of troops deployment along the border, which was in contravention of the 1993-96 agreements.
Jaishankar addressed the media after holding extensive talks with his visiting Chinese counterpart Wang Yi covering the eastern Ladakh row and the geopolitical turmoil triggered by the crisis in Ukraine. He was joined by senior officials, including foreign secretary Harsh Shringla and MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi during the press meet.
This is the first major diplomatic engagement between India and China in nearly two years since armies of the two nations fought along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
“My talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi has just concluded. We met for about three hours and addressed a broad and broad substantive agenda in an open and candid manner. We discussed our bilateral relations that have been disturbed as a result of Chinese actions in April 2020,” the EAM said.
“I was honest in conveying our sentiment on this issue during talks with Wang Yi,” he said, adding restoration of normal ties will require restoration of normalcy in border areas.
The foreign minister said the current situation is a “work in progress" – at a slower pace than desirable. “This needs to be taken forwards since completion of the disengagement (at LAC) is necessary for disengagement” he added.
“So long there are very large deployments, border situation is not normal. We still have ongoing friction areas, have made progress in resolving some friction areas including Pangong Tso. Our discussion today was how to take this forward. There have been 15 rounds of talks.”
When asked if any timeline has been set for disengagement and de-escalation along the LAC, Jaishankar said, “There was no timeline... A parallel but a separate discussion took place in regard to sorting out the situation in border areas.”
He said there was no discussion on Quad meet with the Chinese FM.
Jaishankar said the occasion provided an opportunity to exchange views on major international issues, including Afghanistan and Ukraine.
“So far as Afghanistan is concerned, India's policy is guided by the UN Security Council Resolution 2593. On Ukraine, we discussed our respective approaches and perspective but agreed that diplomacy and dialogue must be the priority.”
“I also took up strongly the predicament of Indian students studying in China who haven't been allowed to return citing COVID restrictions. We hope China will take a non-discriminatory approach since it involves future of many young people,” he said.
Earlier, national security officer Ajit Doval held talks with Wang and told him restoration of peace in border areas will help build trust, create enabling environment for progress in ties.