Foregin Minister S. Jaishankar made India’s position clear to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that any unilateral change of status quo on the LAC near the Pangong Tso was unacceptable at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
The meeting between the Foregin Ministers was held for an hour on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe where the main focus was the outstanding issues along the LAC in the Western Sector. The two ministers have also agreed on “convening an early meeting of the Senior Military Commanders”.
The meeting was crucial and productive after reports of fresh tensions on the LAC, including protests by Chinese troops and civilians against the birthday celebrations of Gyalwa Rinpoche or the 14th Dalai Lama at the Indian side in Demchock on 6th July.
In a statement the External Affairs Ministry has said “Jaishankar and Wang had a detailed exchange of views on the current situation on the LAC and other issues related to the overall bilateral relations during their meeting”.
20 Indian and 40 Chinese soldiers are said to have lost their lives in one of the most brutal clashes between the Chinese and the Indian army in June last year at the eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.
In the February of this year both sides have mutually accepted an agreement of disengagement in the north and south banks of Pangong Tso lake and have mandated the military of both sides to cease forward deployment of troops in a “phased, coordinated and verifiable” manner.
Last month, New Delhi dismissed Beijing’s allegations that India’s policies were to blame for the tensions. New Delhi has questioned China’s actions of amassing troops in border areas and attempting to change the status quo on the LAC for the military standoff. Meanwhile China has called for the border issue to be delinked from other aspects of the bilateral relationship, such as trade and investment.
It is true that the ongoing border tensions should be delinked from other aspects of bilateral relations for a prospering economy. However, it is also true that a healthy bilateral relation depends upon mutual consent on every aspect between any two countries.