India-China border stable, should push for its further easing, Chinese FM Qin Gang tells EAM Jaishankar

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Image Courtesy: @DrSJaishankar

Beijing: Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang reaffirmed that the situation at the China-India border is generally stable and that both sides should build on their current successes and strictly adhere to any relevant agreements while urging for further cooling and easing of the conditions for lasting peace and tranquilly at the border.

Qin reiterated China’s frequently-repeated recent position that the situation on the China-India border is generally stable during his discussions with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar at Benaulim in Goa on the sidelines of the SCO Foreign Ministers meeting on Thursday, in an apparent reference to the ongoing military standoff in Eastern Ladakh that caused the relations to come to a standstill.

According to a press release on the Qin-Jaishankar talks released here on Friday, Qin stated that the two sides should continue to implement the significant consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, consolidate the existing accomplishments, strictly adhere to relevant agreements, push for further cooling and easing of the border situation, and maintain sustainable peace and tranquilly in the border areas.

In a tweet after the talks, Jaishankar said the focus remained on resolving outstanding issues and ensuring peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

“A detailed discussion with State Councillor and FM Qin Gang of China on our bilateral relationship. Focus remains on resolving outstanding issues and ensuring peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” he said.

Jaishankar said the discussions were also held on issues relating to the SCO, G20 and BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa).

Qin maintained that China and India, as the two most populous developing countries in the world, are both in a critical period of modernisation.

He said we should draw lessons from history, approach the bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, respect, learn from and make achievements from each other, and embark on a new path of harmonious coexistence, peaceful development and common rejuvenation among major neighbours, so as to lend impetus to national rejuvenation and inject stability and positive energy into world peace and development China is ready to work with India to carry out bilateral consultations and exchanges, enhance dialogue and cooperation under multilateral frameworks, deepen coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues and bring China-India relations back to the track of sound and stable development.

Qin Gang said China supports India in hosting a successful SCO summit and hopes that India, as the rotating chair, will play a positive role for the success of the summit in the spirit of unity and coordination.

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern, the press release added.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on border pacts

Last week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu at a meeting that China’s violation of existing border agreements “eroded” the entire basis of ties between the two countries and that all issues relating to the frontier must be resolved in accordance with the existing pacts.

The meeting on 27 April took place in New Delhi on the sidelines of a conclave of the SCO defence ministers.

Days ahead of the meeting between the two defence ministers, the Indian and Chinese armies held 18th round of talks on ending the border row.

In the Corps Commander talks on April 23, the two sides agreed to stay in close touch and work out a mutually acceptable solution to the remaining issues in eastern Ladakh at the earliest.

However, there was no indication of any clear forward movement in ending the three-year row.

The ties between India and China nosedived significantly following the fierce clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 that marked the most serious military conflict between the two sides in decades.

The Indian and the Chinese troops are locked in a standoff at a few friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh for the last three years though they disengaged in several places following a series of military and diplomatic talks.

India has been maintaining that the relationship between the two countries should be based on “three mutuals” – mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests.

The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake area.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in 2021 on the north and south banks of the Pangong Lake and in the Gogra area.

With inputs from agencies

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