India has once again reiterated the need for peace and stability along the border with China in order to improve relations between the two countries. This statement follows comments made by the Chinese foreign minister about both sides working to ease tensions in the ongoing border dispute at the Line of Actual Control. The spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs also emphasized the importance of respecting bilateral agreements and not attempting to alter the current status quo of the border.
China’s new foreign minister, Qin Gang, recently wrote an article in which he stated that both China and India are willing to work towards easing tensions and maintaining peace along their shared border, specifically mentioning the ongoing military standoff in Ladakh. This statement represents the only mention of India in the article, which primarily focuses on China’s foreign policy views on various global issues. The relationship between India and China has been strained since the violent clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, which resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and at least 4 Chinese troops. Tensions between the two countries have further escalated due to a recent skirmish between troops at Yangtse in the Arunachal Pradesh sector.
China has suggested that the current border dispute should be de-emphasized while both countries focus on other areas such as trade, while India has maintained that peace and stability along the border are necessary for the overall relationship to improve. India’s external affairs minister has previously accused China of violating bilateral agreements by deploying troops along the Line of Actual Control, and has stated that the current tensions are solely the result of China not upholding these agreements. In response to a question about China potentially constructing structures on territory claimed by India, the spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs expressed confidence in the ability of the country’s armed forces to defend Indian territory.
India and China are engaging in ongoing discussions and regular communication through military and diplomatic channels in order to address the current border dispute and address concerns about Chinese activities. These discussions also aim to restore a level of normalcy and reduce tensions at the border through de-escalation and disengagement. The spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs avoided answering a question about the World Health Organization’s allegations that China is underreporting its COVID-19 case numbers, but stated that India has encouraged all countries to closely coordinate with the WHO in order to better prepare for the pandemic through the sharing of information.
Source: Hindustan Times