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India, China agree to continue engagement on UNSC agenda amid LAC standoff

Tens of thousands of Indian and Chinese troops have been in eye ball to eye ball confrontation for more than nine monthsPremium
Tens of thousands of Indian and Chinese troops have been in eye ball to eye ball confrontation for more than nine months

  • The Indian delegation briefed the Chinese side on India’s priorities during its UNSC tenure, a statement said
  • According to people familiar with the developments, the talks did not mean the start of a return to normal ties as they existed prior to India detecting Chinese intrusions along the LAC

New Delhi: India and China on Tuesday discussed their priorities at the UN Security Council with both agreeing to continue their engagement on key issues on the UNSC agenda, an Indian statement said.

The consultations came amidst tensions between the two sides along their common border in Ladakh and in the middle of reports that China was further fortifying its positions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the region and showing no signs of pulling back tens of thousands of troops.

The short Indian statement issued after the talks said the two sides had held consultations on UNSC issues today through video link.

The Chinese delegation was led by Yang Tao, Director General of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, it said.

Prakash Gupta, Joint Secretary (UNP and Summits) led the Indian delegation along with officials from East Asia (EA) and UN Economic and Social (UNES) Divisions of MEA and from the Permanent Mission of India New York and Embassy of India in Beijing, it said.

“Both sides discussed a wide range of issues on the UNSC agenda. The Indian delegation briefed the Chinese side on India’s priorities during its UNSC tenure. Both sides agreed to continue their engagement on key issues on the UNSC agenda," it added.

According to people familiar with the developments, the talks did not mean the start of a return to normal ties as they existed prior to India detecting Chinese intrusions along the LAC in May last year. Tuesday’s talks were in a very specific context – that of the UNSC – that India joined on 1 January 2021 as one of 10 non permanent members elected for a two year term, one of the people cited above said.

Tens of thousands of Indian and Chinese troops have been in eye ball to eye ball confrontation for more than nine months.

The two sides also clashed in June – resulting in the deaths of 20 soldiers from the Indian side and an unknown number of troops from the Chinese side.

The intrusions and the clash shredded ties that were already mired in suspicion thanks to China’s support to India’s arch rival Pakistan on a number of issues at the UN and outside. India regards China as being insensitive to its concerns – vis a vis terrorism and territorial issues.

Beijing has consistently backed and shielded Pakistan when India has tried to bring terrorists supported by Islamabad to justice and tried to expose Islamabad’s role in sheltering terrorist groups in Pakistan.

The banning of Maulana Masood Azhar, the head of the Pakistan based Lashkar e Toiba under UNSC norms was held up many times mainly due to Beijing putting the process on hold.

Azhar was finally banned in 2019 after his group was found to be behind the killing of 40 Indian paramilitary troopers in Kashmir’s Pulwama region in February of that year.

Beijing has also ignored Indian objections to taking up economic projects in Pakistan administered Kashmir under the China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor or CPEC, which is part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. India has objected to the economic projects in PoK as it says the entire region of Kashmir is part of Indian territory, something Pakistan disputes.

So far talks between India and China to resolve the LAC crisis has not yielded any results. Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar said that many rounds of military and diplomatic talks had yielded positive results but not enough to show results on the ground.

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