Monday, August 8, 2022

India-China ties under ‘severe’ stress, attempt to change LAC unacceptable: S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Saturday said that to restore normalcy between India and China, agreements between the two countries must be respected scrupulously and any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) will not be accepted.

Delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture, EAM said, “Where China is concerned, ties were stable for three decades as the two nations addressed inherited challenges and new circumstances. Peace and tranquillity in the border areas provided the basis for expanded cooperation in other domains.” Speaking on the topic “India and the Post-Covid World”, Jaishankar said that with the advent of COVID-19 the relationship between India and China has come under stress.

“But as the pandemic unfolded, the relationship has come under severe stress. To restore normalcy, agreements between the two countries must be respected scrupulously in their entirety. Where the Line of Actual Control is concerned, any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo is unacceptable.” He further said that the bilateral relationship cannot be immune to changes in the assumptions that underpinned it.

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“Large civilisational states re-emerging in close proximity will not have naturally easy ties. Their interests are best served by a sustained engagement based on mutual respect and mutual sensitivity,” he added. On the existing world order, Jaishankar said that “…the rise of China and the repositioning of the United States have deep relevance. As interests and models became more difficult to reconcile, the resulting frictions brought into the open issues that were dormant till then in the international discourse.”

“To add to all these is a transformation of the metrics of power in an era of higher technology reliance and greater inter-dependence. Political influence became less dependent on raw military strength and increasingly shifted to utilizing instruments like finance, trade, connectivity, data and technology,” he added. (ANI)

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