Foreign Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said the violent clash between India and China in Ladakh in June left relations between the two countries deeply troubled, the PTI reported.
Jaishankar added that the tense border situation marked a sharp departure in India-China ties over a 30-year period. So, from the conceptual level to the behavioral level, there was a kind of whole framework there, Jaishankar said at a virtual event hosted by the Asia Association.
He added: Now, what we saw this year was a departure from the whole series of deals. The gathering of a large number of Chinese forces at the border was clearly at odds with all of this.
Jaishankar said the June 15 Galvan Valley collision had a serious public and political impact. To underline the magnitude of this, it was the first military casualty we had after 1975, Jaishankar said. So what he has done is, undoubtedly, he has had a very deep public influence, a very big political influence, and he has left the relationship deeply troubled.
He added: And when you had friction points which have a large number of bodies at different points very close to each other, then something tragic happened like what happened on June 15th.
- India, China agree not to turn disputes into border blockade dispute
- Pakistan and China create border tensions under one mission, says Rajnath Singh
- Ladakh blockade: Time to accept talks with China will not help, says US national security adviser
Jaishankar said China had a heavy military presence along the Current Control Line, which posed a critical security challenge for India.
Minister of Foreign Affairs was asked why China was gathering troops at the border. I honestly have not received any reasonable explanation from them on the matter, he was quoted as saying by Indian Express. So there it is today [a] a very large number of armed troops concentrated in that segment, at the border, and this is undoubtedly a very critical security challenge we face.
Jaishankar had said on Thursday that India and China were engaged in confidential talks to resolve the five-month border blockade. The seventh round of talks between the border commanders of India and China was held on 12 October.
The two countries’ military leaders have been taking part in several rounds of talks over the past three months after 20 Indians and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed in violent clashes in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh on June 15. But these talks have failed to break the deadlock.
On Wednesday, Beijing said it did not recognize Indian sovereignty over Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, claiming that India had illegally invaded Ladakh. In response, India’s Foreign Ministry said China has no place to comment on the issue. The ministry said Ladakh as well as Arunachal Pradesh are integral parts of India and this has been conveyed to the Chinese side on many occasions.
After the sixth round of military talks on September 22, India and China had decided to stop sending more troops to the front line amid the border blockade. The two countries also agreed to take practical measures to properly resolve problems on the ground and ensure peace in border areas, she added.
On September 10, S Jaishankar met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. The two ministers agreed on a five-point plan to ease tensions between the countries and said the current situation in the Ladakh border areas was not in either side’s interest. They agreed, therefore, that the border troops of both sides continue their dialogue, break away quickly, maintain the right distance and ease tensions.