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China positive in state of Sino-India relations, New Delhi disagrees

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(TibetanReview.net, Sep30’22) – Marking the 73rd founding day of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese Ambassador Mr Sun Weidong has on Sep 28 said the situation at the Line of Actual Control with India was moving towards being “normalised” and called for closer cooperation, urging New Delhi to respect China’s “core interests” on Taiwan and Tibet. India’s External Affairs Minister, Mr S Jaishankar, has, however, disagreed.

Asked at a press briefing in Washington, DC, on Sep 28, as he wrapped his four-day official trip to the US, for his reaction to Mr Sun’s remarks, Mr Jaishankar has said. “I think if the spokesperson of a foreign ministry were to say something, I would urge you to see a comment from the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of the corresponding country.”

Mr Jaishankar has repeatedly emphasized that the normalization of bilateral relations depended on China acting responsibly to normalize the border situation, withdrawing from Indian areas it had occupied in eastern Ladakh in early 2020, and being scrupulous in abiding by the series of border agreements signed between the two countries.

Referring to the completion by Indian and Chinese troops of the disengagement process at Patrolling Point-15 in Gogra-Hot Springs region of Ladakh earlier this month, Jaishankar had called it just “one problem less on the border”. Local residents in Ladakh have complained that the disengagement had meant that they could no longer graze their herds in parts of their traditional grassland as they had now been turned into no-man’s land, suggesting that the deal was a bitter pill that India had to swallow.

Mr Jaishankar has also expressed disappointment over China’s repeated moves over the past several years to block the UN Security Council from blacklisting Pakistan-based terrorists responsible for high-profile attacks in India by placing them on technical holds, often at the last minute.

During the recently concluded UN General Assembly session in New York City, Jaishankar said: “Politics should never ever provide cover to evade accountability. Nor indeed to facilitate impunity. Regrettably, we have seen this of late in this very chamber, when it comes to sanctioning some of the world’s most dreaded terrorists. If egregious attacks committed in broad daylight are left unpunished, this Council must reflect on the signals we are sending with impunity. There must be consistency if we are to ensure credibility.”

Hence, speaking on the overall state of relations between the two countries, Mr Jaishankar, quoted by News18.com Sep 29, has said: “What I have said, to my mind, represents accurate policy assessment of where the state of our relations is. We continue to strive for a relationship with China, but one that is built on mutual sensitivity, mutual respect and mutual interest.”

In his remarks, delivered at a virtual event, Mr Sun had claimed that the situation on the India-China border was already “overall stable” and the two sides had moved from the “emergency response” that followed the clash in Galwan Valley in Jun 2020 to “normalised management and control”.

Claiming that “China-India relations have made new progress and shown positive momentum” this year, Mr Sun has insisted: “For issues that can be resolved, we should actively seek solutions; for issues that cannot be resolved at the moment, we should put them in a proper place and manage them in a proper way, without allowing them to disturb the overall development of the bilateral relations.”

He was referring to China’s position that the borer differences should not be a hindrance to normalizing ties in overall ties, something that India has already repeatedly rejected.

Mr Sun has also linked the Taiwan question and Tibet-related issues, saying, “It is hoped that the Indian side can properly handle issues related to China’s core interests, including [the] Taiwan question and Xizang-related issues,” noted the indianexpress.com Sep 29.

The report saw it as significant that Beijing had, for the first time, sought to link its redline on Taiwan with the India-China border situation.

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