Situation with China fragile, dangerous: India

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (File photo).

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said that the situation between India and China in the western Himalayan region of Ladakh is fragile and dangerous, with military forces deployed very close to each other in some parts, according to Reuters.

“The situation to my mind still remains very fragile because there are places where our deployments are very close up and in military assessment therefore quite dangerous,” Jaishankar said at an India Today conclave.

He said that the relations between the countries cannot go back to normal until the border row is resolved until “in line with the September 2020 in-principle agreement he reached with his Chinese counterpart.” “The Chinese have to deliver on what was agreed to, and they have struggled with that,” Reuters quoted the India’s foreign minister as saying.

The foreign minister acknowledged the strained relationship with the communist nation. He, however, said the government remained committed to protecting the national interest at any cost.

“We have made it very clear to the Chinese that we cannot have a breach of peace and tranquility, you can’t violate agreement and want the rest of the relationship to continue as though nothing happened. That’s just not tenable.”

He claimed: “In 2020, the Chinese violated protocols and we saw its consequences in Galwan and in other areas as well. Now we have deployed our troops and stood our ground.”

“You can’t violate agreements and then expect the rest of the relationship to continue as though nothing had happened. That’s just not tenable,” informed Jaishankar.

He reaffirmed India’s commitment to resolve all the issues through dialogue and negotiations even as strongly asserted the priority of “protecting nation’s sovereignty.” He said: “This government is very different. There is nothing unilateral. If we have taken on some commitment, that commitment is matched by an equal commitment based on the principle of equal and mutual security on the Chinese side.”

He expressed hope that New Delhi can make the forum “more true to its global mandate”. The foreign minister said: “From 1988 when Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi went there till 2020 the understanding was that peace and tranquility on the border would be maintained. We had two agreements not to bring large forces to the border.”

He claimed to have discussed the situation with China’s new foreign minister, Qin Gang, on the sidelines of a meeting of the foreign ministers of the G20 nations hosted by India this month.

Jaishankar strongly dismissed claims by some opposition parties such as Congress that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had encroached on Indian territory in excess of 1,000 sq km.

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