India on Saturday said it could not be 'business as usual' in relations with China until the dragging military standoff in Ladakh sector of the LAC was resolved and peace and tranquillity restored in the border areas
Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi will be in India March 24-25 as part of an effort to put bilateral ties back on track after the bloody clash between two armies two years ago in Ladakh. Wang Yi comes to New Delhi after attending the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers' meeting at Islamabad as a special invitee. From New Delhi, he will travel to Kathmandu.
The Hindustan Times said Wang Yi will meet the Indian leadership with a delegation-level meeting with the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and with a possible call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two foreign ministers have met in Moscow in September 2020 and Dushanbe in September 2021 in a bid to normalise ties, especially disengagement at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
India is categorical that normalization of bilateral ties with China is dependent on peace and tranquillity all along the LAC with April 2020 status quo ante restored in East Ladakh, that is the situation existing before alleged Chinese PLA transgressions led to the military clash that resulted a number of deaths of both sides.
Prior to his Delhi visit, the Chinese foreign minister proposed a four-point formula to enhance strategic and pragmatic cooperation between two countries at a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad.
India on Saturday said it could not be “business as usual” in relations with China until the dragging military standoff in Ladakh sector of the LAC was resolved and peace and tranquillity was restored in the border areas, the Hindustan Times said. The Indian side’s position on the standoff on the LAC was conveyed to the Japanese side during the annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla said.
The Indian side informed the Japanese side “about the situation in Ladakh...the attempts at massing of troops, the attempts at multiple transgressions, and also the fact that we were holding talks with China on the border-related issues and the recent issues in Ladakh”, he said.
“We also made it clear that until and unless we had a resolution of the issues involved [and] there was peace and tranquillity in the border areas, we could not consider the relationship to be business as usual,” Shringla said.
“Normalcy in the relationship would depend on progress on the issues that we are discussing,” he added.
The standoff, which began in May 2020, and a brutal clash in Galwan Valley that killed 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese troops, has taken bilateral relations to an all-time low. The Indian side has said that China is yet to explain why it violated several agreements and protocols on border management by massing troops on the LAC and making unilateral attempts to alter the status quo.
Despite several rounds of diplomatic and military talks, India and China have been able to agree on disengagement of frontline troops only on the north and south banks of Pangong Lake and at Gogra. Troops from both sides remain at several other friction points in the Ladakh sector, and India has rejected China’s repeated calls for the standoff to be delinked from taking forward ties in other areas such as trade.