China seeking to unilaterally alter status quo along LAC; says Shringla

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LONDON: China’s unusual step of seeking to unilaterally alter the status quo along LAC in eastern Ladakh has led to “deterioration of ties” between the two countries, Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla said on Tuesday and noted that India stands resolute in its resolve “not to allow its territorial integrity or sovereignty to be compromised”.

In an interview with DW News, Shringla also said that India, US relations are “based on bipartisan support” and will not be impacted by the outcome of US elections.  He said the two countries have forged a relationship that has withstood the test of time is very comprehensive and multifaceted.

Harsh Vardhan Shringla

The Foreign Secretary hit out at Pakistan government over query related to remarks of Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying it is clearly an attempt to distract international attention and domestic attention from his own problems.

He said there is no “common perception” of the India-China border but if an attempt is made to change “where the current line of troops is”, it impacts the larger relationship. He expressed concern over steps taken by China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

“It has contributed to the deterioration of ties between our two countries because of the unusual step of China to seek to unilaterally alter the status quo,” he said in answer to a query. 

“You have to keep in mind that there is no common perception of the border, but if you seek to change where the current line of troops are then it, of course, does impact the larger relationship. We are concerned that China has taken the step. We are very, very clear that we will stand firm and resolute in our resolve not to allow our territorial integrity or sovereignty to be compromised,” he said. 

Speaking on the future of India’s relationship with the United States, he said that the ties will remain the same no matter who wins the presidential elections.

“Democratic candidate Joe Biden also has made it clear in many of his statements that he values a strong India-US strategic partnership. This is common to both President Trump and Biden,” he said.

Shringla also said that India-US relations are “based on bipartisan support — you see it in the Congress and at the public levels”.