Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday, 25 March, met External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar for delegation-level talks, shortly after he paid a visit to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval at his office in Delhi's South Block.
After the meeting, Jaishankar informed that he strongly took up the predicament of Indian students studying in China, who haven't been allowed to return citing COVID restrictions.
"We hope China will take a non-discriminatory approach since it involves the future of many young people," he added.
Jaishankar further stated that Wang Yi assured him that he would speak to the relevant authorities on the matter.
"He also recognised the particular concerns that medical students have in this difficult situation," Jaishankar added.
Wang Yi had landed in Delhi on Thursday, marking the first visit to India by a Chinese leader since the clashes erupted between the two nations in the Pangong Lake area of eastern Ladakh in May 2020.
'Relationship Not Normal': EAM Jaishankar
Speaking on what was discussed in the meeting, the External Affairs Minister said that Indian and China's relationship "is not normal," citing the presence of a large number of troops in contravention of the 1993-96 agreements.
"So long there are very large deployments, border situation is not normal. We still have ongoing friction areas, have made progress in resolving some friction areas including Pangong Tso. Our discussion today was how to take this forward. There have been 15 rounds of talks," Jaishankar added.
The frictions and tensions that arose from China’s deployments since April 2020 cannot be reconciled with a normal relationship between two neighbours, Jaishankar noted.
"Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke about China’s desire for a return to normalcy, while also referring to the larger significance of our ties. I was equally forthcoming that India wants a stable and predictable relationship. But restoration of normalcy will obviously require a restoration of peace and tranquillity. If we are both committed to improving our ties, then this commitment must find full expression in ongoing disengagement talks," he said.
Jaishankar said that the occasion provided them "an opportunity to exchange views on major international issues, including Afghanistan and Ukraine…Current situation is a 'Work in Progress', obviously, at a slower pace than desirable...This needs to be taken forward since completion of the disengagement (at LAC) is necessary for disengagement."
Speaking on the situation in Afghanistan, he added, "India's policy is guided by the UN Security Council Resolution 2593. On Ukraine, we discussed our respective approaches and perspective but agreed that diplomacy and dialogue must be the priority."
Jaishankar added that he and Wang Yi extensively discussed a number of contemporary matters as well.
"I laid out India’s principled approach to international relations based on respect for international law, UN Charter and sovereignty and territorial integrity of states," he said, adding that, "Disputes should be resolved without use or threat of use of force. Nor should there be attempts to unilaterally change the status quo. Where India and China are concerned, our relationship is best served by observing the three mutuals – mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests."
What Happened in the Meeting With NSA Doval?
As per sources quoted news agency ANI, Wang Yi and Doval discussed the need to take early and complete disengagement in remaining areas to allow bilateral ties to take their natural course.
Further, it was stated that the continuation of the present situation was not in the mutual interest of the two countries. It was also said that the restoration of peace would help build mutual trust.
The Chinese side invited NSA Doval to visit China to take forward the mandate of Special Representatives.
The NSA responded positively to the invitation, stating that he could visit after immediate issues were resolved successfully.
Sources added that NSA Doval and Wang Yi also discussed the need to continue positive interactions at diplomatic, military levels for restoration of peace: A prerequisite for normalisation.
It was also stated that it should be ensured that actions don't violate the spirit of equal and mutual security.
The visit comes amid a new controversy between the two countries, after Wang, in his opening speech at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Pakistan, made a reference to Kashmir on Wednesday.
"On Kashmir, we have heard again today the calls of many of our Islamic friends. And China shares the same hope," he had said.
India, in response, said that Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and rejected the "uncalled reference."
Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said:
"Matters related to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are entirely the internal affairs of India. Other countries including China have no locus standi to comment. They should note that India refrains from public judgement of their internal issues."
After a joint statement was issued last month by China and Pakistan, referencing J&K, India asserted that the region "have been, are and will" remain integral and inalienable parts of India.
Corps Commander Level Talks on LAC Issues
On 11 March, the 15th round of Corps Commander level talks were held between the two countries at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side.
The discussions were aimed to amicably reach a resolution of the relevant issues along the LAC in the Western Sector.
Both sides also reaffirmed that such a resolution would help restore peace and tranquility along the LAC in the Western Sector and facilitate progress in bilateral relations, according to the joint statement.
Yi will also visit Kathmandu, Nepal at 3 pm on Friday, officials from the Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) have said.
Tibetan Youth Congress Protests Against Wang Yi's Visit
The Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) organised a protest in front of the Hyderabad House at 2 pm on Friday, in view of the arrival of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to New Delhi to discuss the LAC resolution.
It condemned Wang Yi’s visit and China for "all the lies, fabrications, and atrocities committed not just to the Tibetans but to the world at large."
TYC further put forward the following demands:
Make China accountable for all the atrocities committed on the people of Tibet, Uyghurs, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Southern Mongolia.
"To counter and combat People's Liberation Army (PLA) transgressions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Tibet remains the only viable solution."
"To release all the imprisoned Tibetan political prisoners unconditionally."