Union Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar has said that the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was “very serious” and one that calls for deep political dialogue between India and China.
Speaking to Indian Express on Monday (September 7), ahead of his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow, Jaishankar said India’s relation with China at the border cannot be de-linked from the state of the relationship between the two countries.
He said the “peace and tranquillity” that existed on the Indo-Chinese borders in the past 30 years had a positive effect on trade relations between the two nations, making China India’s second-largest trading partner.
But when the same peace and tranquillity at the border is affected, the relation between the two countries too takes a toll, he hinted.
“And the subsequent agreements we had, they shape the behaviour of troops, and what are the restrains which should be on them. If these are not observed, then it raises very, very important questions. At this moment, I note that this very serious situation has been going on since the beginning of May. This calls for very, very deep conversations between the two sides at a political level,” he said.
The foreign minister is slated to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation foreign ministers’ meeting between September 9 and 11, and meet Wang Yi for the first time since the border skirmish in May this year.
He said “the issue of disengagement and de-escalation” would be on India’s table for discussion.
“If peace and tranquillity on the border is not a given, then it cannot be that the rest of the relationship continues on the same basis, because clearly peace and tranquillity is the basis for the relationship,” he said
The situation on the Indo-Chinese border in eastern Ladakh worsened when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a skirmish with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley on June 15. This triggered a reinforcement of forces on either sides of the LAC.