NEW DELHI: India has told China in unambiguous terms that the bilateral ties will continue to be deeply affected if there is no peace on the border with foreign minister S Jaishankar conveying the point to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in a 75-minute phone conversation on Thursday.
The discussion made it evident that India is not prepared to resume “business as usual”, isolating border friction from the larger relationship even as India and China for the first time agreed to set up a hotline between the two foreign ministers.
India believes the hotline will help to address emerging problems in the relationship much faster. India has linked the overall ties with peace and tranquillity on the border, a stance that came about after Chinese aggression on the Line of Actual Control last year.
China continues to believe the boundary dispute should be “in its proper place” and not impact the larger ties. “It was necessary to disengage at all friction points in order to contemplate de-escalation of forces in this sector. That alone will lead to the restoration of peace and tranquillity and provide conditions for progress of our bilateral ties,” the official Indian account of the conversation said.
The official readout of the MEA on the Jaishankar-Wang conversation said, “Both sides had always agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas was an essential basis for development of bilateral relations. A prolongation of the existing situation was not in the interest of either side. It was, therefore, necessary that the two sides should work towards early resolution of remaining issues.”
The Chinese official statement said, “India and China should handle the boundary question properly to prevent the bilateral ties from sinking into a negative cycle.
That the two countries have boundary disputes is an objective fact, which should be taken seriously, it is not the whole of ChinaIndia relations, and it should be put at a proper place in the overall bilateral relations.”