India, China in confidential talks to resolve stand-off

Asked specifically about the outcome of the ongoing talks during an online conclave, the external affairs minister said the 'discussions are going on and it is a work in progress.'
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (File photo| PTI)
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (File photo| PTI)

NEW DELHI:  External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said India and China are engaged in confidential talks to resolve the ongoing border tensions.

“Discussions are on. Disengagement is a work in progress. What is going on is something confidential between us and the Chinese, There is not very much that I am in a position to say in public. I certainly do not want to prejudge it,” he said, addressing the Bloomberg India Economic Forum.

The minister noted that there has been an unprecedented troop build-up along the LAC. “Can a rising China and rising India find equilibrium? What you see at the border is an expression of that challenge,” he said.

‘China has no locus standi to comment on Ladakh’

Jaishankar said ties between China and India have improved since 1993 when the two countries signed a series of agreements on maintaining peace along the border. “The primary cause of disruption is when peace and tranquility is not ensured and the agreements that have been signed are not honoured,” he said. A former diplomat said the minister was being cautious in his comments about the ongoing talks as China could not be fully trusted.

“Only a couple of days ago, China said it does not recognise Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. The minister is making sure he and his government aren’t making far-fetched comments only to be embarrassed by Chinese actions.

Also, there are some diplomatic dialogues which can’t be out in the public,” he said. Meanwhile, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India and China have agreed to maintain the current momentum of communication to ensure further disengagement, at the 7th commander-level meeting.

“Disengagement is a complex process that requires redeployment of troops by each side towards their regular posts on their respective sides of the LAC,” he said. India also slammed China’s remarks on Ladakh and Arunachal saying it has no locus standi to comment. “The UTs of J&K and Ladakh have been, are, and would remain an integral part of India...We hope that countries will not comment on India’s internal matters,” Srivastava said.

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