India Sets Condition of ‘Peace and Tranquility’ on Border for Development of Relations With China

September 11, 2020

India conveyed to the Chinese administration that the further development of relations between the two countries would be ensured only if there are peace and tranquility on the border. The communication happened in a meeting between the Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on Sept. 10.

“Maintenance of peace and tranquility on LAC [line of actual control] is essential to carry forward the development of these relationships,” a source in the Indian government told The Epoch Times, highlighting the pre-condition.

“We conveyed that recent incidents in eastern Ladakh have inevitably impacted the development of bilateral relations. Therefore an urgent resolution is in the interest of both countries,” said the official, adding that since 1976 when the two countries resumed their bilateral relations, peace on the border was responsible for the wider development of the relationship.

A joint press statement released by both sides on Thursday said that the ministers had a “frank and constructive” discussion and agreed on five points to work out the tension that is currently persisting in eastern Ladakh.

The bilateral relationships between India and China suffered a serious downfall after the killing of 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers on June 15 and the killing of a patrolling Indian soldier by a Chinese land mine on Aug. 29, with both incidents in the Himalayan border region of Ladakh. This was followed by an incident in which guns were fired into the air on Sept. 7 for which both sides blamed one another.

The event has been described as the first exchange of fire between the two countries in 45 years.

The two ministers in their meeting on Thursday agreed to not allow “differences to become disputes” and that troops on both sides should continue to talk and disengage. “The two foreign ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side,” said the statement.

The source in the Indian government however said that India expressed “strong concern” at the deployment of Chinese troops with equipment along the line of actual control.

“Presence of such large troops is not in accordance with 1993 and 1996 agreements and this has created flashpoints along the LAC. The Chinese side hasn’t provided any credible explanation for their deployment. Provocative behavior from China is a disregard for the maintenance of border areas,” said the source.

The joint statement also highlighted that both sides talked with each other about abiding by the existing protocols and agreements to resolve the conflict on the border.

Just three days before the firing-in-the-air incident on the line of actual control, the Defense Ministers of the two countries, Rajnath Singh of India and Wei Fenghe of China, had also met in Moscow on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting.

“He [Singh] emphasized that the actions of the Chinese troops, their aggressive behavior and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo were in violation of the bilateral agreements and not in keeping with the understandings reached between the Special Representatives of two sides,” another statement from the India side said on Sept. 5.

The government source told The Epoch Times on Friday that the Indian side will not sit idly by if there is any attempt by the Chinese side to change the “status quo unilaterally.”

“We also emphasized that Indian troops have scrupulously followed all protocols to the management of border areas. The immediate task is to ensure the disengagement of troops in all section areas to be done to prevent any untoward incident in the future,” said the source, adding that the final location of the troop deployment and their posts and how to go about the process of disengagement is to be worked out by the military commanders.

Following the escalating tensions on the line of actual control and the killing of its soldiers, India has taken several measures to counteract China.

These include banning 59 apps including Tik Tok in late July and further banning 118 Chinese apps on Sept. 2 including the popular video game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which has 50 million players in India.

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