External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday that India will continue to maintain a relationship with China that is based on “mutual” sensitivity, respect and interest.
Jaishankar made the remarks while responding to a question on the consistent comments from Beijing about how things are “okay” between the two countries. “What I have said, to my mind represents accurate policy assessment of where the state of our relations is. We continue to strive for a relationship with China, but one that is built on mutual sensitivity, mutual respect and mutual interest,” Jaishankar strongly asserted during a media briefing.
Minister Jaishankar who is in the US to attend the recently concluded annual UN General Assembly, is now in Washington where he met his US counterpart, Antony Blinken and other top officials of the Biden Administration.
Meanwhile, Chinese ambassador to India Sun Weidong stated that the situation on the India-China border is “overall stable” and the two sides have moved from the “emergency response” that followed the clash in Galwan Valley in June 2020 to “normalised management and control”.
“I think if the spokesperson of a foreign ministry were to say something, I would urge you to see a comment from the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of the corresponding country,” Jaishankar responded when asked for his reaction to Weidong’s comment.
Jaishankars comments clearly go against the Chinese position that the overall India-China relationship is normal.
Just days before Jaishankar hit out at China, without naming it, as he spoke at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session on Ukraine. In a reference to Beijing’s decision to block the listing of terrorists, Jaishankar said: “The fight against impunity is critical to the larger pursuit of securing peace and justice. The Security Council must send an unambiguous and unequivocal message on this count. Politics should never ever provide cover to evade accountability.
Nor indeed to facilitate impunity. Regrettably, we have seen this of late in this very chamber, when it comes to sanctioning some of the world’s most dreaded terrorists. If egregious attacks committed in broad daylight are left unpunished, this Council must reflect on the signals we are sending with impunity. There must be consistency if we are to ensure credibility.”
A day after his comment at UNSC, Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a brief encounter when photos were taken at a BRICS gathering in New York last week and there was an awkward “unease.”
There were no bilateral meetings between the two foreign ministers. A similar awkward encounter was also visible when Prime Minister Modi stood beside Chinese President Xi Jinping during a group photo session at the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, there were no exchanges between the two leaders.
India and China have withdrawn frontline troops from the two banks of Pangong Lake, Gogra and Hot Springs after more than two dozen rounds of diplomatic and military talks. However, there has been no forward movement on other friction points such as Demchok and Depsang.
Following the eastern Ladakh standoff, India has been consistently maintaining that peace along the Line of Actual Control was key for the overall development of the ties and that the state of the border will determine the state of the relationship.