External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said that peace and tranquility in the border areas of India and China remain the basis for normal relations.
Speaking at the conference of the Center for Contemporary China Studies (CCCS) on “China’s Foreign Policy and International Relations in the New Era,” Jaishankar said, “Peace and tranquility in the border areas clearly remain the basis for normal relations. From time to time, this has been mischievously conflated with the sorting out of the boundary question.”
He further said that the truth is that the prerequisite has been and remains one much more modest, and even that was breached in 2020. Taking to Twitter, Jaishankar shared the main points and said that India’s search for a more balanced and stable relationship with China takes it across multiple domains and many options.
“Given the developments of 2020, they obviously focus on an effective defence of the border. This was notably undertaken even in the midst of Covid,” he added.
Referring to India and China tensions which intensified after the Galwan valley clash, Jaishankar said that establishing a way of life between New Delhi and Beijing after 2020 is not easy. “Yet, it is a task that cannot be set aside. And this can only become sustainable on the basis of three mutuals: mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interest,” EAM added in a tweet.
The Galwan valley clash has strained the relationship between India and China. Recently, on September 13 completed the disengagement process in the Gogra Heights-Hot Springs area near Patrolling Point-15 in the eastern Ladakh sector, according to government sources.
The two sides have also completed verification of each other’s position’s adapter pulling back troops from the friction point. India and China have been engaged in a standoff since April-May 2020 over the transgressions by the Chinese Army in multiple areas including the Finger area, Galwan Valley, Hot springs, and Kongrung Nala. The situation worsened after violent clashes with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in June 2020.
“Internationally, building deeper relationships and promoting a better understanding of its interests strengthens India. We must prepare to compete more effectively, especially in our immediate periphery,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.
Calling the tension between India and China, “a period of serious challenge,” Jaishankar tweeted that it will impact the relationship and prospects of the continent. It is the willingness to take a long-term view of their ties that the two countries must display today. The continuation of the current impasse will not benefit either India or China. New normals of posture will inevitably lead to new normals of responses.”
Earlier in the conference, Jaishankar said that in the past seven decades of engagement, India has taken a “bilateral approach to China.”
He further added that there are many reasons for this including a sense of Asian solidarity and suspicion of 3rd party interests that emanated from other experiences “Indeed, Indian policy in the past has exhibited a remarkable degree of self-restraint that led to the expectation that others can have a veto over its choices. That period, however, is now behind us. The ‘new era’ is apparently not just for China,” Jaishankar tweeted.