“India-China ties at crossroads.. Tensions persist at LAC”: External Affairs Minister

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday revealed that the India-China ties are at crossroads and New Delhi is not able to come to terms with Beijing regarding mutual cooperation as border conflicts persist at the LAC.

The External Affairs Ministry (EAM) mentioned that the process of disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops at the conflict points in Ladakh sector is “unfinished” and only complete restoration of peace along the LAC regions will lead to growth in the relationship between the two countries.

Jaishankar made the remark amid a virtual interview held at the FT-Indian Express webinar as the standoff between the countries continues for more than a year. He further pointed out at China for taking away the consensus to stabilize the border conditions, which emerged after the visit of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China in 1988.

Jaishankar stated, “I think the relationship is at a crossroads and which direction we go depends on whether the Chinese side would adhere to the consensus, whether it would follow through on the agreements which we both have done for so many decades.”

He further added, “Because what is very clear in the last year is that border tensions cannot continue with cooperation in other areas.”

Jaishankar mentioned the long journey of 26 years taken by both India and China to recover from the 1962 war and to formalize mutual agreement for handling of LAC.

“Those agreements essentially stipulated that you wouldn’t bring large armed forces to the border and that peace and tranquillity on the LAC would be observed, there would be no attempt to change the status quo unilaterally. What we saw last year was actually China departing from the 1988 consensus,” Jaishankar stated.

He further added, “If you disturb the peace and tranquillity, if you have bloodshed, if there is intimidation, if there is continuing friction at the border, then obviously it is going to tell on the relationship.”

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