NEW DELHI, India, 16 July 2021
Following the meeting between external affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Dushanbe, China on Thursday said it’s ready to seek a “mutually acceptable solution” to the issues that required “urgent treatment” but added its troops were not responsible for the current impasse and that the two countries needed to keep the border issue at the “appropriate place”.
While India has repeatedly said that LAC disengagement, and de-escalation, is essential for improvement in ties, Beijing insists that the border dispute should not be allowed to come in the way of overall development of bilateral relations. With China apparently continuing to drag its feet on disengagement in remaining areas in eastern Ladakh, Jaishankar had conveyed to Wang that the border strife is “impacting” ties in a negative manner.
China has consistently blamed India for the border tensions though it agreed to move back from the positions it had taken in the finger area of Pangong Lake.
In its readout of the meeting, the Chinese foreign ministry said Wang had told Jaishankar that India-China relations remained at a “low point” while the situation at the border had “generally been easing” after the withdrawal of troops from the Galwan Valley and Pangong Lake.
However, relations between India and China are still at a low point which is not in anyone’s interest, Wang said.
While again blaming India for the stand-off, Wang said “China is ready to seek a mutually acceptable solution to the issues that require urgent treatment through negotiation and consultation with the Indian side”.
However, China reflected key parts of the Indian statement, with Wang quoted as saying, “It is important to consolidate the achievements of the disengagement, strictly abide by the agreement and consensus between the two sides, refrain from taking any unilateral actions in the sensitive disputed areas, and avoid recurrence of the situation due to misunderstanding and misjudgment”.
“We need to take a long-term view, shift from emergency management to normal border management and control mechanisms, and prevent border-related incidents from causing unnecessary disruptions to bilateral relations,” he added. Wang was also quoted as saying that China-India relationship should not be a threat to each other, but an opportunity for each other’s development.
“The two countries are partners, not rivals, and not enemies. The principles of China-India relations should continue to be mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-aggression, non-interference in …internal affairs..,” he said.