Says Beijing’s actions since 2013 put a question mark on past agreements
New Delhi, Dec. 5 (Delhi Crown): Addressing the fifth Indian Ocean Conference 2021 in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar cautioned that China’s growth as a security and economic power in less than a decade is “responsible for tensions rising globally, especially in Asia”.
“Beijing’s actions since 2013 had definitely placed a question mark on past agreements,” he said, adding that in an increasingly globalised world it is vital that freedom of navigation and overflights, and commerce remain unimpeded.
Jaishankar said – “We have seen a sharpening of tensions on territorial issues across the breadth of Asia. Agreements and understandings of yesteryears now seem to have some question marks. Time will, of course, provide answers.”
He added – “Whether it is connectivity, technology or trade, there is now an ongoing debate on the changed nature of power and influence.”.
Speaking of the current uncertainties in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the Indian minister primarily blamed the U.S.’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Covid-19 pandemic for it.
Earlier this week while taking part in the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Jaishankar had made it clear that maintaining the sanctity of borders is non-negotiable. Respecting territorial boundaries is the key to good bilateral relations, he said.
“You can’t have a tense, high friction border and have great relations in all other parts of life. It doesn’t work that way,” he said in an indirect reference to the India-China military stand-off in Ladakh.
The standoff between both forces began in June 2020 at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. Both sides have deployed at least 50,000 troops on either side of the border even as the disengagement process is being done in fits and starts.