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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/16/21

China, India Foreign Ministers' talks on border dispute fail

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi differ on way forward for India-China ties, The Hindu reported Thursday.

While External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Wednesday the continuing impasse along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was "visibly impacting the relationship in a negative manner", the Chinese Minister offered a starkly different message, calling on both sides to "place the border issue in an appropriate position."

Sharing pictures of the meeting, Jaishankar tweeted, "Concluded a one-hour bilateral meeting with State Councilor and FM Wang Yi of China on the sidelines of Dushanbe Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Foreign Ministers Meeting. Discussions focused on the outstanding issues along the LAC in the Western Sector."

During the meeting, EAM Jaishankar expressed that the unilateral change of status quo was not acceptable. The External Affairs Minister also made it clear full restoration is essential for 'development' in bilateral ties with China . The two counterparts also agreed on a Senior Military Commanders meeting to be held soon.

According to Global Times, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Jaishankar that the two countries should refrain from taking any unilateral action in sensitive, disputed areas to avoid misunderstanding and misjudgment that can lead to a repeat of what happened last year.

It is clear that the responsibility of the border issue last year does not lie with China. China is willing to negotiate with India to seek a solution acceptable to both countries, Wang told Jaishankar.

To prevent border issues from further posing unnecessary interference in bilateral relations, which is already in a downturn, Wang said both sides should alter the work mechanism for border incidents from emergency responses to normalized management.

Jaishankar agreed with Wang on bilateral ties, saying India doesn't and hopefully won't change its strategic judgment over bilateral ties and is willing to work with China to prompt bilateral relationship out of the downturn, the Global Times concluded.

China prepares for long haul on LAC

Meanwhile, in a development that indicates that China is preparing the PLA for a long haul along the Line of Actual Control, the Chinese have started building permanent concrete structures for troops that will facilitate their quick movement of the border in a short span of time.

Top government sources have told India Today that Indian agencies have observed new military camps with concrete buildings near border areas. One such camp has been spotted barely a few kilometres from the Naku La area in North Sikkim, sources added.

Similar buildings have been built in areas close to Indian territories opposite eastern Ladakh as well as Arunachal Pradesh.

The road infrastructure along the Chinese side has been upgraded by their military in the last few years, which allows them to move swiftly towards the LAC in case of any such deployment.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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