India’s relations with China right now was going through a very difficult phase after Beijing violated border agreements, revealed S Jaishankar, the External Affairs Minister. He underlined that the state of the border will determine the state of the relationship.
Jaishankar, addressing the Munich Security Conference 2022 Panel Discussion, highlighted that India is having problem with China. “And the problem is that for 45-years there was peace, there was stable border management, there were no military casualties on the border from 1975,” he said. “That changed because we had agreements with China not to bring military forces to the…we call it the border, but it’s Line of Actual Control, and the Chinese violated those agreements.”
The minister emphasized that the state of the border will determine the state of the relationship. “So obviously relations with China right now are going through a very difficult phase.” Jaishankar said India’s relations with the West were quite decent even before June 2020.
It should be noted that the eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry. Tension escalated following a deadly clash in the Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020.
Jaishankar said the situation at the Line of Actual Control has arisen due to the disregard of written agreements by China not to mass soldiers at the border and noted Beijing’s actions have become an issue of legitimate concern for the entire international community. “So when a large country disregards written commitments, I think its an issue of legitimate concern for the entire international community.”
Jaishankar pointed out that the situation in the Indo-Pacific and transatlantic are really analogous. “We have quite distinct challenges, what is happening here and what is happening in the Indo-Pacific. In fact, if there was a connection by that logic, you would have had a lot of European powers already taking very sharp positions in the Indo-Pacific. We didn’t see that. We haven’t seen that since 2009,” he said, amidst an aggressive China flexing its muscles in the region.