India-China border stable, both sides should push for further cooling: Chinese FM to Jaishankar

Jaishankar said the focus was on solving outstanding issues and ensuring peace

INDIA-SCO/ India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang pose for a photograph during the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers' meeting in Goa | PTI

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang reiterated that the situation at the India-China border is generally stable and both sides should consolidate the present achievements and strictly abide by the relevant agreements while pushing for further cooling and easing of the conditions for sustainable peace and tranquillity at the frontier.

In his talks with External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar at Benaulim in Goa on the sidelines of the SCO Foreign Ministers on Thursday, Qin restated China's oft-repeated recent stance that the current situation on the China-India border is generally stable, in an apparent reference to the ongoing military standoff in Eastern Ladakh which brought the relations to standstill.

Qin said the two sides should continue to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, consolidate the existing achievements, strictly abide by relevant agreements, push for further cooling and easing of the border situation and maintain sustainable peace and tranquillity in the border areas, a press release on Qin-Jaishankar talks issued here on Friday said.

In a tweet after the talks, Jaishankar 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, G20 and BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa). Qin maintained that China and India, as the two most populous developing countries in the world, are both in a critical period of modernisation.

He said we should draw lessons from history, approach the bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, respect, learn from and make achievements from each other, and embark on a new path of harmonious coexistence, peaceful development and common rejuvenation among major neighbours, so as to lend impetus to national rejuvenation and inject stability and positive energy into world peace and development China is ready to work with India to carry out bilateral consultations and exchanges, enhance dialogue and cooperation under multilateral frameworks, deepen coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues and bring China-India relations back to the track of sound and stable development.

Qin Gang said China supports India in hosting a successful SCO summit and hopes that India, as the rotating chair, will play a positive role for the success of the summit in the spirit of unity and coordination. The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern, the press release added.

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.

Days ahead of the meeting between the two defence ministers, the Indian and Chinese armies held 18th round of talks on ending the border row.

In the Corps Commander talks on April 23, the two sides agreed to stay in close touch and work out a mutually acceptable solution to the remaining issues in eastern Ladakh at the earliest.

However, there was no indication of any clear forward movement in ending the three-year row.

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 at 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

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