Jaishankar discusses de-escalation
of troops with Chinese counterpart

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NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi lasted for 75 minutes. The two Foreign Ministers discussed the situation along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh and also issues related to overall India-China relations.

Noting the completion of disengagement in the Pangong Lake area, Jaishankar emphasised that both sides should now quickly resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. Jaishankar said that once disengagement is completed at all friction points, then the two sides could also look at broader de-escalation of troops in the area and work towards the restoration of peace and tranquillity.

File image of India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi. (ANI photo)

According to the MEA release, “The EAM referred to the meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister in September 2020 in Moscow where Indian side had expressed its concern on provocative behaviour and unilateral attempts of the Chinese side to alter status quo. He noted that the bilateral relations have been impacted severely over the last year.”

The EAM said that boundary question may take time to resolve but the disturbance of peace and tranquillity, including by violence, will inevitably have a damaging impact on the relationship.

Jaishankar said that during their meeting in Moscow last year, both Ministers had agreed that the situation in the border areas was not in the interest of either side and decided that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage and ease tensions.

He noted that the two sides had maintained continuous communication since then through both diplomatic and military channels. This had led to progress as both sides had successfully disengaged in the Pangong Tso Lake area earlier this month.

State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on his part, expressed satisfaction at the progress made so far.

“It was an important step forward for the restoration of peace and tranquillity in border areas. He felt that both sides should make efforts to consolidate outcomes. It was also necessary to sincerely implement the common understanding reached various levels. He spoke about the need to improve management and control in the border areas.” Wang told Jaishankar during the telephonic call.

The Chinese Foreign Minister also noted that the Indian side had proposed ‘three mutuals’ (mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests) as the approach to the relationship. He also agreed on the importance of taking the long view of our ties. The two Ministers agreed to remain in touch and establish a hotline, the MEA added.

Reiterating the country’s position on the border issues, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava today said that India hasn’t conceded any territory and prevented unilateral change in the status quo.

“India hasn’t conceded any territory and prevented unilateral change in the status quo. The mutual redeployment should not be misinterpreted and there is absolutely no change with respect to our position on the Line of Actual Control,” said Srivastava during a weekly press briefing.

Both the armies of India and China have agreed for disengagement in few areas and military troops have also been removed to maintain a status of pre-face-off that happened last year.India and China have had a stand-off along the LAC since April-May last year due to actions of the Chinese Army and have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks. (ANI)