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India had two and a half years ‘very difficult’ with China: Jaishankar

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Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said in his Sydney speech on Tuesday that India has had a very difficult two and a half years in its ties with China.

Press Trust of India

Sydney,UPDATED: Oct 12, 2022 05:57 AM IST

Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said India has had “very difficult” ties of two and a half years with China. (Photo: File)

By Press Trust of IndiaIndia had “very difficult” two-and-a-half years in its ties with China, including the first bloodshed at their border in 40 years, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said in Sydney on Tuesday, but claimed he kept the line open with Beijing as neighbors to relate to each other.

Jaishankar made the comments while answering questions after his speech at the Lowy Institute about the growing importance of India’s relationship with Australia and the interests both countries share as members of the security-focused Quad.

“We’ve had two and a half very difficult years in our relationship with China, including the first bloodshed we’ve had in 40 years at the border where we lost 20 soldiers,” Jaishankar said when he responded to a question.

“But our attempt, my attempt was to maintain the lines of communication. The morning after, I called my colleague Wang Yi and urged him to make sure there are no escalating or complicated moves on the Chinese side,” , said the minister, who was India’s ambassador to China from 2009 to 2013.

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“Diplomacy is about communication. It’s not just in relation to China, not even in relation to (other countries)… If diplomats don’t communicate with each other, what kind of diplomacy will they do?” he said, adding that countries are linked in the end.

India has consistently maintained that peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) are important for the overall development of bilateral ties. The Indian and Chinese military have held 16 rounds of talks on corps commander to resolve the deadlock.

The stalemate on Ladakh’s eastern border broke out on May 5, 2020, after a violent clash in the Pangong Lakes.

Both sides gradually improved their deployment by pouring in tens of thousands of soldiers and heavy weapons.

Indian and Chinese armies had moved their frontline troops back to the rear sites of Patrolling Point 15 confrontation site in the Gogra-Hotsprings area of ​​eastern Ladakh on Sept. 12 and dismantled the temporary infrastructure there as part of a five-day evacuation process.

Speaking at a forum in Bangkok in August, Jaishankar had said the relationship between India and China is going through an “extremely difficult phase” after what Beijing has done on the border, stressing that the Asian century will not happen if the two neighbors do not join hands.

Later that same month, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he said that China has ignored border pacts with India, casting a shadow on bilateral ties as he claimed that a lasting relationship cannot be a one-way street and that there is mutual respect.

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