S. Jaishankar on the Ladakh border

'Relations with China are not normal because...': S Jaishankar on border row

We need to address these issues if relations are to return to normal, SJ Shankar said (File)

New Delhi:

As the military standoff in eastern Ladakh entered its fifth year, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India hoped to resolve the remaining issues with China and asserted a return to normal bilateral relations on the border. It depends on peace and tranquility.

In an exclusive interview to PTI, S Jaishankar said that the remaining issues are mainly related to “patrol rights and patrol capabilities”.

Asked specifically when a resolution to the row could be expected in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks in Newsweek magazine last month, S.J. Shankar said he had only one idea on the matter. Offered a “big picture” perspective.

“We will hope that the rest of the issues will be resolved there. These issues are mainly related to patrolling rights and patrolling capabilities there,” he said.

“I wouldn't relate it to the Prime Minister's interview. I think the Prime Minister was giving a big-picture view and his big-picture view was a very reasonable view that, as neighbours, every country wants good relations with its neighbors,” he said.

“But today our relations with China are not normal because law and order has deteriorated in the border areas. Therefore, he (the prime minister) was expressing the hope that the Chinese side should realize that the current situation Not in his own interest.” ” said S. Jaishankar.

PM Modi had said that the border situation needs immediate attention and stable and peaceful relations between India and China are important not only for both countries but for the entire region and the world.

S Jaishankar said that diplomacy is a work of patience and India continues to discuss the issues with the Chinese side.

“I would say that we need to address these issues if the relationship is to return to normal,” he said during an interview Thursday.

The Indian and Chinese armies have been at a standoff since May 2020 and a full resolution of the border row has yet to be achieved even though both sides have disengaged from several friction points.

India has consistently maintained that peace and tranquility along the LAC is key to normalizing overall relations.

Asked why bilateral trade with China is increasing while New Delhi insists that relations cannot return to normal when the border situation is abnormal, S Jaishankar suggested that such a scenario The situation has arisen because before 2014 the manufacturing sector was not given adequate attention. .

He said that I think it is a common understanding that if there is no peace and tranquility on the border, how can you have normal relations.

S. Jaishankar added, “After all, if someone is at your front door in an unfriendly manner, you're not going to go out there and act like everything's normal. That's a straightforward proposition for me.” is,” added S. Jaishankar.

Relations between the two countries deteriorated significantly after the fierce clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, which marked the worst military conflict between the two sides in decades.

In diplomatic and military talks with China, Indian negotiators are insisting on restoring the April 2020 status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh had told PTI a week ago that talks between the two sides were going well and hoped for a resolution to the long-standing dispute.

After the Galwan Valley clashes, India is focusing on increasing its overall military capability along the border with China.

The Army has significantly beefed up the deployment of troops and weapons along the nearly 3,500-km LAC, including the Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh sectors, following the clashes.

(Other than the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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