External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang the importance of resolving the eastern Ladakh border row and ensuring peace and tranquillity along the frontier for development of bilateral ties.
Jaishankar held bilateral talks with Qin at a beach resort in Benaulim on the sidelines of a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
In a tweet, the external affairs minister said the focus remained on resolving outstanding issues and ensuring peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
“A detailed discussion with State Councillor and FM Qin Gang of China on our bilateral relationship.Focus remains on resolving outstanding issues and ensuring peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” he said.
Jaishankar said the discussions were also held on issues relating to the SCO, G-20 and BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa).
The meeting between the two foreign ministers was their second in the last two months. The Chinese foreign minister visited India in March to attend a meeting of the G20 foreign ministers.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Jaishankar held talks with Qin during which he conveyed to his Chinese counterpart that the state of India-China relations is “abnormal” because of the lingering border row in eastern Ladakh.
Last week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu at a meeting that China’s violation of existing border agreements “eroded” the entire basis of ties between the two countries and that all issues relating to the frontier must be resolved in accordance with the existing pacts.
The meeting on April 27 took place in New Delhi on the sidelines of a conclave of the SCO defence ministers.
The ties between India and China nosedived significantly following the fierce clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 that marked the most serious military conflict between the two sides in decades.
The Indian and the Chinese troops are locked in a standoff in a few friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh for the last three years though they disengaged in several places following a series of military and diplomatic talks.
India has been maintaining that the relationship between the two countries should be based on “three mutuals” — mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in 2021 on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.