No normalcy in ties till large number of Chinese troops are there on border: EAM to Wang

No normalcy in ties till large number of Chinese troops are there on border: EAM to Wang

New Delhi:The large number of Chinese troops on the border areas cannot go hand in hand with normalcy in ties, and peace and tranquility in the border areas is essential, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar conveyed firmly to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today. Briefing the media after the talks with Wang Yi, that lasted around three hours, EAM Jaishankar said he had conveyed that improvement in the bilateral ties “must find full expression” in the ongoing disengagement talks. During the talks, the two ministers “addressed a broad and substantive agenda in an open and candid manner”. “We discussed our bilateral relations that have been disturbed as a result of Chinese actions since April 2020. The occasion provided an opportunity to exchange views on major international issues, including Afghanistan and Ukraine,” he said. “The frictions and tensions that arise from China’s deployments since April 2020 cannot be reconciled with the normal relationship between two neighbours,” EAM said, adding that he was “very honest” in his discussions with Wang Yi, “especially in conveying our national sentiments” the border issue. He said Wang Yi “spoke about China’s desire for a return to normalcy referring to the large significance of our ties. I was equally forthcoming that India wants a stable, predictable relationship, but restoration of normalcy will obviously require a restoration of peace and tranquility.” “And if we are both committed to improving our ties then this commitment must find full expression in the ongoing disengagement talks,” the EAM said. “I would describe our current situation as work in progress, obviously at a slower pace than desirable. My discussions with FM Wang Yi today were aimed at expediting that process.” He said the impact of the tension in the border areas on the overall relationship has been visible in the last two years, “which is only natural since peace and tranquility in the border areas are the foundation of stable and cooperative ties”. He said the very large deployments of Chinese troops in the border areas are violative of the 1993-96 agreements and till then there cannot be normalcy in relations. “We have a situation where peace and tranquility have been disturbed… Is our relationship normal today? It is not and cannot be if the situation in the border areas is not, and the presence of a large number of troops there is an abnormality,” he said. The EAM said during his meetings with the Chinese FM in the last two years, in Moscow in 2020 and in Dushanbe in September 2021, and during their phone conversations, the focus “has naturally been on the situation in our border areas”, which led to an understanding on disengagement and de-escalation in our border areas. “The challenge of course had been to implement it on the ground,” he said, adding that the two sides have held 15 rounds of talks at the level of senior commanders and progress has been achieved on several friction points from the disengagement perspective. “This needs to be taken forward since the completion of disengagement is necessary for discussions on de-escalation to take place,” he added.