Asian solidarity would depend on example set by India-China relations, S Jaishankar tells Chinese counterpart Wang Yi

New Delhi: Amid the bilateral relations being at a low ebb, the External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Thursday (September 16, 2021) met State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi and told him that the Asian solidarity would depend on the example set by India-China relations. 

The two ministers met on the sidelines of the 21st Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Meeting of the Head of States in Dushanbe (Tajikistan) and exchanged views on the current situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh and global developments.

“EAM noted that since their last meeting on 14th July, 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 the Gogra area. However, there were still some outstanding issues that needed to be resolved,” the Ministry of External Affairs informed in a press statement.

“In this context, EAM recalled that Foreign Minister Wang Yi had in their last meeting noted that the bilateral relations were at low ebb. Both sides 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. EAM, therefore, emphasized 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 statement added.

S Jaishankar also 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. 

The two ministers also 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 EAM conveyed that India had never subscribed to any clash of civilisations theory and said that India and China had to deal with each other on merits and establish a relationship based on mutual respect. 

“Emphasized that India does not subscribe to any clash of civilisations theory. It is also essential that China does not view its relations with India through the lens of a third country,” Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting. 

This is to be noted that the tensions between India and China had escalated in June 2020 following a violent clash in Ladakh. Both sides had then gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry. Subsequently, as a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in the Gogra area this year to restore peace and tranquillity in the region. In February, the two sides had 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 reportedly has over 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector. 

Earlier last week, Jaishankar had also dismissed criticism on Quad, which Beijing has been claiming that the alliance was aimed against it. 

Meanwhile, Jaishankar also met with his counterparts from Iran, Armenia and Uzbekistan and exchanged views on the recent developments in Afghanistan, confronting regional challenges and the ways to boost bilateral ties.

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