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India: The situation with China is fragile and dangerous in the Himalayas


Indian Foreign Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar said yesterday that the situation between India and China in the Himalayan Ladakh region is fragile and dangerous, as the armed forces of both sides are deployed close to each other in some areas.

At least 24 soldiers were killed in clashes between the two sides in the region in mid-2020, but rounds of diplomatic and military talks calmed the situation.

Violence erupted in the eastern sector of the undemarcated border between the two nuclear-armed Asian powers last December, but no one was killed.

“The situation remains in my opinion very fragile because there are places where our forces are deployed very close to each other, so in terms of military assessment the situation is very dangerous,” Jaishankar told the India Today magazine forum.

He added that Indo-Chinese relations cannot return to normal before the border dispute is resolved in line with the September 2020 principled agreement he reached with his Chinese counterpart.

“The Chinese have to fulfill what has been agreed upon, which they find difficult,” he said.

He noted that despite the withdrawal of forces from both sides from many areas, there are ongoing discussions about unresolved matters.

He added, “We made it clear to the Chinese that we cannot accept a breach of peace and tranquility, and you cannot violate the agreement while wanting the rest of the relations to continue as if nothing had happened. This cannot continue.

Jaishankar said he had discussed the situation with his new Chinese counterpart, Qin Gang, on the sidelines of a G20 foreign ministers’ meeting hosted by India this month.

Regarding India’s G20 presidency this year, the minister expressed hope that New Delhi could make the forum “more committed to its global mandate.”

“The G20 should not be a discussion club or an arena just for the northern hemisphere,” Jaishankar said. All global concerns must be accommodated. We have already made this point firmly.”