Ladakh border situation dangerous; India-China forces deployed very close: Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Saturday said that the Indian and Chinese militaries were deployed very close to each other in parts of Ladakh where the situation between the two countries was "fragile and dangerous." He was speaking at India Today Conclave 2023 about the India-China border tensions months after violence erupted at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in December.
Why does this story matter?
- India and China have been involved in a border conflict since 2020 because of differences over the LAC.
- A conflict in Ladakh's Galwan Valley in June 2020 allegedly resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers, making it the worst in over five decades.
- Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has repeatedly refuted reports that China invaded Indian territory and built military infrastructure.
What exactly did EAM S Jaishankar say?
Speaking at the Conclave, Jaishankar said, "The situation to my mind still remains very fragile because there are places where our deployments are very close up and in military assessment therefore quite dangerous." He said that unless the border dispute is settled in accordance with the in-principle agreement between both nations reached in September 2020, India-China ties cannot return to normal.
'You can't violate agreement and have normal relationship': Jaishankar
"We have made it very clear to the Chinese that we cannot have a breach of peace and tranquility, you can't violate agreement and want the rest of the relationship to continue as though nothing happened. That's just not tenable (sic)," Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar's take on India's G20 Presidency
Moreover, on India's G20 Presidency this year, Jaishankar expressed optimism that New Delhi could help make the platform "more true to its global mandate." "The G20 should not be a debating club or an arena only of the global north. The entirety of global concerns needs to be captured. We have already made that point very forcefully," he said.
Why is someone undermining national morale: Jaishankar on Rahul Gandhi
EAM Jaishankar also chastised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for supposedly praising China recently, claiming that he is disturbed when he sees someone "drooling" over China and dismissing India. He added that Gandhi has allegedly praised China's manufacturing industry while undermining India's in every way. "I want to ask why is someone undermining national morale like this," the minister stated.