India-China ties not normal but a work-in-progress at a pace slower than desired: Jaishankar

India-China ties not normal but a work-in-progress at a pace slower than desired: Jaishankar

India-China ties not normal but a work-in-progress at a pace slower than desired: Jaishankar

Says all issues haven’t been sorted out in entirety, though progress has been made

New Delhi, March 25 (Delhi Crown): India-China relationship is not normal, and it’s a work-in-progress at a very slower pace than desired, said India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday in Delhi after meeting his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi who was here for a day’s visit.

“The relationship can’t be normal if the situation at border areas is abnormal. Presence of a large number of troops at the borders in contravention of agreements is abnormal,” said Jaishankar.

“There has been progress during the talks between senior military commanders and at the eight rounds of WMCC. But they haven’t sorted out all issues in entirety,” said Jaishankar, and added that his today’s meeting with Wang Yi was to expedite this process.

He also said that bilateral relationship must be based on three mutuals – “Mutual Respect, Mutual Sensitivity and Mutual Interest”.

The meeting between the duo lasted over three hours. Amid much speculations about his possible visit, Wang Yi had arrived in Delhi on Thursday evening and met Jaishankar, and also National Security Adviser Ajit Doval during the day today.

During the meeting, the Indian External Affairs Minister also took up strongly the predicament of Indian medical students studying in China who have not been allowed to return citing Covid restrictions.

“Wang Yi assumed me that he will speak to the relevant authorities in his country on this matter,” he further stated.

The meeting assumed much significance even as it was the first high-level bilateral visit by a leader to other’s country after over two years of bitter relationship, since April 2020 China’s aggression on Indian troops in Galwan Valley.

“We discussed our bilateral relationship that has been disturbed since Chinese action since April 2020. The occasion provided us an opportunity to exchange views on major international issues, including Afghanistan and Ukraine. We also took up concerns in our bilateral relationship, including education, travel and commerce,” Jaishankar told media persons.

He added – “We have been in touch with each other over phone though we haven’t visited with each other’s country. Our meeting led to an understanding on disengagement and de-escalation on the ground. Progress has been achieved on several friction points during the several rounds of Commanders-level talks from disengagement perspective. Completion of disengagement is necessary for discussions over de-escalation to take place.”

Jaishankar further went on to say that the impact of tensions has been visible over the past two years. The frictions and tensions that arise from China’s deployment since April 2020 cannot be reconciled with a normal relationship between two neighbours, he said.

According to him, during the talks China FM Wang Yi spoke about China’s desire for a return to normalcy. “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 towards improving our ties then this commitment must find full expression in ongoing disengagement talks.”

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