External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, on Friday, said that ties between India and China are not normal at present, given a large number of troops deployed along the border, which was in contravention of the 1993-96 agreements. He was addressing a press conference after extensive talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
At the press conference after the meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Jaishankar was joined by senior officials, including foreign secretary Harsh Shringla and MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
This is the first visit by a high-level Chinese diplomat to India since the border dispute between the two nations erupted over two years ago. So far, 15 rounds of military talks have taken place to resolve the issue.
At the press conference, the EAM said, “So long there are very large deployments, border situation is not normal. We still have ongoing friction areas, have made progress in resolving some friction areas including Pangong Tso. Our discussion today was how to take this forward. There have been 15 rounds of talks…”
“I would describe the current situation as work in progress, obviously at a slower pace than desirable. And my discussions with Foreign Minister Wang Yi today were aimed at expediting that process.”
“The impact of the tension at the border areas on the overall relationship has been visible in the last two years. This is only natural since peace and tranquillity at the border areas have been the foundation of stable and cooperative ties. Indeed we have agreements designed to strengthen these foundations and prevent the kind of situation that we are seeing today,” he added.
National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Friday told the visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that there has to be “early and complete disengagement” in border areas for Indo-China ties to move forward.
In a meeting between the Chinese Foreign Minister and NSA Doval, both countries emphasized that their actions should not violate the spirit of equality and mutual security, the government sources said.
The two Asian neighbors also concurred to work in the same direction and resolve outstanding issues as quickly as possible, the sources added.
The Chinese Foreign Minister, who arrived in New Delhi on Thursday, held delegation-level talks with NSA Doval on Friday.
In their meeting, the two sides emphasized the need to continue positive interactions at diplomatic and military levels for the restoration of peace, a prerequisite for the normalization of bilateral relations.