India and China are truly at crossroads: Jaishankar

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar

Chennai: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar outlined eight broad principles and three ‘mutuals’ to mend strained ties between India and China, and said the two countries are truly at crossroads and their choices will have ‘profound repercussions’, not just for them but for the entire world.

In an address at an online conference, Jaishankar said the developments in eastern Ladakh last year brought the relationship under ‘exceptional stress’ and India is yet to receive a credible explanation for the change in China’s stance or reasons for amassing troops in the border areas.

The two countries are locked in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh since 5 May last.

The eight principles listed by Jaishankar to take bilateral ties forward included strict adherence to all agreements on border management, fully respecting the Line of Actual Control (LAC), making peace and tranquillity along the frontier the basis for overall ties, recognising that a multi-polar Asia is an essential constituent of a multi-polar world and managing differences effectively.

Jaishankar mentioned the three ‘mutuals’ as mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests and described them as determining factors for the ties, noting that as rising powers, each will have their own set of aspirations and their pursuit too cannot be ignored.

“Any expectation that they can be brushed aside, and that life can carry on undisturbed despite the situation at the border, that is simply not realistic,” he said delivering the keynote address at the 13th All India Conference of China Studies.

 

NT Bureau