No normalcy in ties until LAC disengagement, says JS


The Hindu

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No normalcy in ties until LAC disengagement, says Jaishankar after meeting Wang Yi in Delhi

There can be no normality in India-China ties unless the troops amassed at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) are withdrawn, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Delhi on Friday during talks that ended without any joint statement or agreement on the way forward.

Mr. Wang, who arrived in Delhi on Thursday and met National Security Adviser Ajit Doval for an hour on Friday morning, held three-hour talks with Mr. Jaishankar before leaving for Kathmandu.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi during their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on March 25, 2022. Photo: Twitter/@DrSJaishankar via PTI

According to Mr. Jaishankar, who briefed the media, their meeting had a “broad and substantive agenda” and the talks were “open and candid”. He said he had “conveyed our national sentiment” on the border issue and that “frictions and tensions that arise from China’s deployments since April 2020 cannot be reconciled with a normal relationship between two neighbours.”

“If you ask me, is our relationship normal today, my answer to you is no it is not, and it cannot be normal if the situation in the border areas is abnormal,” Mr. Jaishankar replied to a question from  The Hindu, referring to the LAC in eastern Ladakh, where around 1,00,000 Indian and Chinese soldiers remain deployed in forward areas after the People’s Liberation Army’s transgressions. “Surely, the presence of a large number of troops there, in contravention of agreements, is abnormal,” he said.

While 15 rounds of commander-level talks and eight rounds of a special Working Mechanism on Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) for border affairs yielded “considerable progress”, several friction areas remained, Mr. Jaishankar noted, but didn’t mention specifics, or if India had spoken of the need to return to the “status quo ante” as of April 2020.

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