India, China discussed "disengagement in our border areas", says Jaishankar

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that the two sides should work for an early resolution of the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control - the de facto border - in eastern Ladakh and that China avoid viewing its ties with India through the lens of a third country

Sep 17, 2021
Image
Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that the two sides should work for an early resolution of the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control - the de facto border - in eastern Ladakh and that China avoid viewing its ties with India through the lens of a third country. In a meeting on the sidelines of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Dushanbe on Thursday, the two foreign ministers exchanged views on the current situation in the region and agreed that military and diplomatic officials of both sides should meet again and discuss resolving the remaining issues at the earliest.

Jaishankar also told Wang that India had never subscribed to any "clash of civilizations theory" and that Asian solidarity would depend on the example set by India-China relations, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

He also said the two sides need to establish a relationship based on "mutual respect" for which it was necessary that China avoid viewing the ties with India from the perspective of its relations with third countries, it said. While Jaishankar mentioned "a third country", the statement by the MEA talked about "third countries", PTI said. 

It is learnt that the two sides also exchanged views on developments in Afghanistan after the Taliban''s takeover of the country.

In a statement, the MEA said on Friday that the two ministers exchanged views on the current situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh as well as on global developments.
It said Jaishankar underlined that it was necessary to ensure progress in the resolution of remaining issues so as to restore peace and tranquillity along the LAC in eastern Ladakh as such an atmosphere in the border areas has been an essential basis for progress in the bilateral relations.

"In this regard, the ministers agreed that military and diplomatic officials of the two sides should meet again and continue their discussions to resolve the remaining issues at the earliest," the MEA said.

"In this context, the external affairs minister (EAM) recalled that Foreign Minister Wang Yi had in their last meeting noted that the bilateral relations were at low ebb," it said.

The MEA said both sides in the previous meeting had agreed that a prolongation of the existing situation was not in the interest of either side as it was impacting the relationship in a negative manner.
"The EAM, therefore, emphasised that the two sides should work towards early resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols," the MEA said.

"The external affairs minister noted that since their last meeting on July 14, the two sides had made some progress in the resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh and had completed the disengagement in Gogra area," it said.

However, there were still some outstanding issues that needed to be resolved," it added.

The two leaders had held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of another conclave of the SCO in Dushanbe on July 14.

The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 last year following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake area and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry. As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in Gogra area last month.

In February, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the north and south banks of the Pangong Lake in line with an agreement on disengagement.

Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector, NDTV said.