Border standoff eroded trust: NSA Doval to Chinese diplomat during bilateral ties meet
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval reportedly told top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi during a meeting in South Africa’s Johannesburg on Monday (July 24) that the border standoff since 2020 had “eroded strategic trust and the public and political basis of the relationship” between the two countries.
Doval met Wang, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, on the sidelines of the Friends of BRICS meeting in Johannesburg.
“During the meeting, NSA conveyed that the situation along the LAC in the Western Sector of the India-China boundary since 2020 had eroded strategic trust and the public and political basis of the relationship,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
“NSA emphasised the importance of continuing efforts to fully resolve the situation and restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas, so as to remove impediments to normalcy in bilateral relations. The two sides agreed that the India-China bilateral relationship is significant not only for the two countries but also for the region and world,” it added.
“China will never seek hegemony”
Wang reportedly said the two sides should enhance strategic mutual trust, focus on consensus and cooperation, overcome obstacles, and bring bilateral relations back on track of sound and stable development as soon as possible, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
Wang stressed that China will never seek hegemony, and stands ready to work with developing countries, including India, to support multilateralism and the democratisation of international relations, and promote the more just and equitable development of international order.
The meeting came days after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Wang in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. They discussed outstanding issues relating to peace in border areas.
India has been locked in a military standoff with China for more than three years, with Jaishankar describing it as the most complex challenge in his long diplomatic career. India has maintained that the bilateral relationship cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border area.
Earlier on Monday, Doval called for collective efforts to deal with challenges emanating from cybersecurity at the Friends of BRICS meeting. The NSA also held several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Friends of BRICS countries.
BRICS is a grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. South Africa is hosting the BRICS Summit next month.
(With agency inputs)