External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Saturday said that India’s relations with China are going through a “very difficult phase” after Beijing violated the border agreements and asserted that the “state of border will determine the state of the relationship”. “For 45 years, there was peace and there was stable border management. There were no military casualties on the border. That changed. We had agreements with China not to bring the military forces to the Line of Actual Control and the Chinese violated those agreements. Now the state of border will determine the state of the relationship. That’s natural,” he said.
Jaishankar was replying to a question during the Munich Security Conference (MSC) 2022 Panel Discussion here on the India-China border tensions and India’s decisive shift towards the West. “The relations with China is going through a very difficult phase and the relations with the West were quite decent before June 2020 so it is not a cause and effect as far as good ties with the West are concerned,” he said.
Twenty Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese troops lost their lives in a violent face-off in the Galwan Valley on June 15-16 in 2020 when Chinese troops attempted to unilaterally change the status quo during the de-escalation in eastern Ladakh following tensions along the Line of Actual Control. After the Galwan clash, several rounds of military and diplomatic talks have ended in a stalemate.
Underlining the centrality of Indo-Pacific, Jaishankar during a panel discussion here said today’s world is “far more interdependent, inter-penetrative and paradoxical in nature”, one where a country has to do business with another despite a major conflict of interest. The External Affairs Minister said India’s capabilities and influence has grown over the years. Jaishankar also held a series of meeting with ministers from Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world during his visit to Germany. He is in Munich to participate in a security conference. The minister held bilateral meetings with Foreign Ministers and other delegates who would be attending the conference.