‘Serious’ State of Border to Impact Indo-China Ties: Jaishankar

“The state of the border cannot be de-linked from the state of the relationship,” Jaishankar said.

3 min read
File picture of S Jaishankar with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. 

Amid rising tensions between India and China at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday, 7 September, said that the state of the border cannot be excluded from the state of New Delhi’s overall relationship with Beijing, reported news agency PTI.

Speaking ahead of his expected meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Moscow, Jaishankar said that the situation in eastern Ladakh is “very serious” while adding that it calls for a "very, very deep conversation" between the two countries.

Referring to his recent book titled The India Way, Jaishankar said:

“The state of the border cannot be de-linked from the state of the relationship. I wrote it before that unfortunate incident happened in Galwan.”
S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister

Jaishankar also said without peace and tranquility at the border, the rest of the relationship between the two nations cannot go on as usual. “Clearly peace and tranquility is the basis for the relationship,” he said.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Jaishankar will be attending the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to be held in Moscow on 9-10 September.

It will be the 3rd CFM meeting that India will be attending as a full member of SCO. Earlier, two meetings were held in Beijing (China) on 23-24 April 2018 & Bishkek (Kyrgyz Republic) on 21-22 May 2019.


The Backdrop

China had on Monday, 7 September, claimed that the Indian Army had crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and fired warning shots at PLA (People's Liberation Army) border patrol soldiers who were about to negotiate.

The Indian Army “illegally” crossed the LAC in Shenpao mountain near the south bank of Pangong Tso on Monday, a PLA Western Theatre Command spokesperson was cited as saying by China’s Global Times paper.

Chinese border troops were “forced” to take countermeasures to stabilise the situation after Indian troops “outrageously” fired warning shots to PLA border patrol soldiers who were about to negotiate, the PLA spokesperson reportedly added.

What Did the Indian Army Say?

In a statement on Tuesday, 8 September, the Indian Army denied charges of transgressing across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) or resorting to firing.

“At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing. It is the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, while engagement at military, diplomatic and political level is in progress.”
Statement from the Indian Army

What Preceded China’s Claim?

This comes days after India said that the Chinese had “engaged in provocative military maneuvers in the intervening night of 29 and 30 August in an attempt to change the status quo in the South Bank area of Pangong Lake.”

The Ministry of External Affairs had said the Indian side had responded to these attempts by taking “appropriate defensive measures along the LAC in order to safeguard our interests and defend the territorial integrity”.

“Due to the timely defensive action, the Indian side was able to prevent these attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo,” a statement by MEA had said.

Later, the Chinese side had engaged in “provocative action” yet again on 31 August while ground commanders of the two sides were in discussions to de-escalate the situation, the foreign ministry had pointed out.

Tensions between India and China along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh have been high ever since May, reaching a flashpoint in June, when 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in the Galwan Valley clashes.

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