|External affairs minister (EAM) S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi are seen in this photo.|
Military leaders from India and China will meet in the coming days to discuss a complete withdrawal from all flashpoints in Ladakh as the first step in de-escalation. This is the important result of a tense encounter between Wang Yi, the Chinese counterpart, and S Jaishankar, the external affairs minister (EAM).
“The immediate priority is to guarantee that all forces are fully withdrawn from all trouble spots to prevent any unforeseen situations in the future. Military commanders on the field will choose the ultimate disposition of the soldier deployment to their permanent posts and the phasing of the procedure. Wang Yi, a member of the State Council, agreed that comprehensive disengagement should come before de-escalation, according to a senior government official.
While state councilor and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi wanted the two countries’ relations to continue in tandem with the ongoing border tension in East Ladakh, he was unable to respond to EAM Jaishankar’s probing questions regarding the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) massive build-up in occupied Aksai Chin. In order to put pressure on the Indian Army on the LAC, the PLA has currently sent out more than 50,000 soldiers, 150 aircraft, tanks, and missiles.
On September 10, 2020, in Moscow, the External Affairs Minister (EAM) had a thorough conversation about the ongoing tensions in the India-China border regions with Wang Yi, state councilor and foreign minister of China. The gathering lasted for 2.5 hours.
Jaishankar emphasized that India-China relations have been on a mainly favorable trajectory since the restoration of ambassadorial level relations in 1976 and the holding of border negotiations since 1981. Even though there have occasionally been problems, the border regions have generally been peaceful and quiet. As a result, collaboration between China and India grew in a variety of areas, giving the partnership a deeper foundation.
While the Indian side acknowledged that finding a solution to the boundary dispute would take time and effort, it was also obvious that maintaining peace and calm in the border regions was crucial to the future growth of relations. But the recent events in eastern Ladakh unavoidably had an effect on how the two countries’ relationship developed. Therefore, it was in both countries’ best interests for the current issue to be resolved quickly.
During the conference, the Indian side made clear that the massing of Chinese troops and equipment near the Line of Actual Control deeply concerns it (LAC). The 1993 and 1996 Agreements were broken by the massive concentration of soldiers present, which led to flashpoints along the LAC. There is no convincing justification for this deployment from the Chinese side.
Chinese frontline forces’ provocative actions at multiple tense situations along the LAC also demonstrated a disrespect for bilateral agreements and decorum. The Indian side made it very clear that it anticipated strict respect to all agreements regarding the management of border areas and would not tolerate any attempts to change the status quo unilaterally. It was also stressed that all agreements and norms relating to the management of the border areas had been meticulously adhered to by the Indian forces.
The ministers agreed on five themes that will direct their approach to the current situation at the conclusion of their meeting.
According to reliable government sources, Jaishankar made it abundantly plain to councillor Wang that good bilateral relations over the previous 20 years were a result of border tranquility and that the PLA build-up directly affected relations between the two nations. According to a senior official, “Jaishankar made clear to Wang that excellent bilateral ties were a result of tranquil borders, just as the relations would worsen if the borders were not quiet.
State Councillor Wang only discussed the thinning of troops in the depth areas, unable to explain why the PLA suddenly increased its presence in the region in violation of the 1993–96 agreement.
“The five subjects listed in the joint statement are those on which the two sides reached a border disengagement agreement. The Chinese foreign ministry’s statement reflects how they see the dialogue, which the Indian side did not approve of. The two sides should follow previous agreements and regulations, according to EAM Jaishankar, to keep the border quiet, a Moscow official reported.
The front-line troops are at each other’s throats, thus there is no purpose in thinning the forces in the deep areas, EAM Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart. The two ministers will now return to their respective political leadership to request instructions, with the first step being a complete disengagement from all sources of contention in order to bring peace to the border.
According to an official, “Reciprocal disengagement is required before in-depth thinning since the PLA will hold dominant heights on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) faster than the Indian Army given the improvement of Chinese infrastructure in border areas as opposed to India.”