Peace and tranquillity along LAC (Line of Actual Control) are “deeply disturbed” and that are obviously impacting the overall relationship between India and China, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday.
Jaishankar made these comments against the backdrop of the over five-month-long border standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh. Each side has deployed over 50,000 troops in the border area.
Sino-India boundary question was a “complicated” and difficult issue, he said at a webinar on his book ‘The India Way’. He gave a historical perspective to development of the relationship between the two neighbouring countries in the last three decades.
The external affairs minister said the relationship between India and China, which is “very difficult” was normalised since late 1980s, through a plethora of initiatives like trade, travel, tourism, and societal activities on the premise of peace and tranquillity along the border.
Complicated and difficult issue
“It is not our position that we should solve the boundary question. We understand it was a very complicated and difficult issue. There have been many negotiations at different levels. And that was a very high bar for a relationship,” Jaishankar said.
“I am talking about a much more basic bar which is that there must be peace and tranquillity along the LAC in the border areas and that has been the case since the late 1980s,” he added.
“Now, when peace and tranquillity were deeply disturbed then obviously there would be an impact on the relationship. And that was what we were seeing,” he said referring to the border situation in eastern Ladakh.
Jaishankar said both China and India are rising and assuming “bigger” role in the world. But the “big question” is how the two countries find equilibrium.
“That is the basic case I addressed in my book,” the minister said. He completed the manuscript of the book in April, before the border row erupted in eastern Ladakh.