External affairs minister S. Jaishankar highlighted 8 key points for improving Indo China relations at the 13th All India Conference of China Studies. Jaishankar also talked about the eastern Ladakh standoff between India and China in May 2020 and remarked that the incident has put the relationship under “exceptional stress”.
The Union minister said that the relations between India and China are at crossroads today and whatever choices the nations make will have global consequences and not just for the two countries. Jaishankar mentioned that the last year standoff showed disregard for decreasing troop levels and an inclination towards violating peace. “We are yet to receive a credible explanation for the change in China’s stance or reason for the massing of troops.” he added.
At the online conference, Jaishankar highlighted 8 principles for refining ties between India and China. First, the minister underlined the importance of past experiences and lessons and commented that, “From that, we can seek proper guidance that will be to the benefit of both nations”. Second to it he added that agreements that had already been reached in the past must be adhered to in their entirety.
Thirdly, addressing the issue of the breach of Line of Actual Control (LAC) he said, “Whether handling of the border areas is concerned, the Line of Actual Control must be strictly observed and respected. Any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo is completely unacceptable,”. Fourth, noting that both nations are committed to a multi-polar world Jaishankar mentioned that, “there should be a recognition that a multi-polar Asia is one of its essential constituents”.
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Fifth, he said that one-sided sensitivity to interests, concerns and priorities by any nation would not prevail and the relationship should be reciprocated from each end. Sixth, he said the pursuit of the rising powers of the two nations cannot be ignored.
Seventh, he outlined the importance of management of divergences and differences between the countries.
Lastly he stressed that, India and China must think beyond the current situation while handling matters.
He added that, “Development of ties can only be based on mutuality such as mutual respect, mutual sensitivity, mutual interest. Respecting the three mutuals and observing those eight principles that I spoke about will surely help us make the right decisions,”.