India, China ties cannot go back to normal till peace is restored along border: Harsh Shringla2 min read . Updated: 04 Sep 2020, 09:15 PM IST
The comments came hours ahead of a meeting between Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow on the sidelines of a regional conference amid heightened tensions between the two countries
NEW DELHI: India will not compromise on its sovereignty and territorial integrity and ties with China cannot go back to normal unless peace and tranquility is restored along the common border, Indian foreign secretary Harsh Shringla said on Friday.
The comments came hours ahead of a meeting between Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow on the sidelines of a regional conference amid heightened tensions between the two countries.
In his comments Shringla at a speech to the government backed Indian Council of World Affairs think tank in New Delhi, noted that India had, “an unprecedented situation" on the India-China border.
“We have never had this sort of situation since 1962," he said referring to a short but bitter war between the two countries that ended badly for India.
“We have also lost for the first time lives of soldiers in the last forty years," he said, a reference to a violent clash between Indian and Chinese troops on 15 June in which 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese personnel were killed.
“There has been an attempt to take unilateral action to change the facts on the ground," Shringla said referring to the cause of the current tensions between the two countries that sprung up in May when India discovered Chinese intrusions into Indian territory at multiple points in Ladakh. India believes China aims to take more of its territory under its control by moving the undemarcated Line of Actual Control westwards. Beijing on its part says New Delhi has encroached into its territory. The two sides have amassed thousands of men and military hardware along their borders.
“We will be firm and resolute in resisting this. As far as we are concerned, there will be no compromise on sovereignty and territorial integrity," Shringla said referring to India's red lines on the subject.
“At the same time, we are, as a responsible nation, we are always ready to talk, we are always ready to engage. We have kept our communications line open. Even as we speak, the ground commanders are talking to each other," he said referring to multiple conversations at the military and diplomatic level that however have not yielded any results. On Thursday, the Indian foreign ministry said that dialogue was the only way forward and urged Beijing to engage seriously with New Delhi to find a way to resolve the tensions.
“It is a fact that it cannot be business as usual. Unless there is peace and tranquility in our border areas, the normal bilateral relationship will be affected," Shringla said echoing comments made earlier by Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar
“There is a linkage between what is happening on the border and the larger relationship. And that fact I think is very, very evident -- as we seek to resolve this issue, as we seek to maintain and revert to the status quo that existed before such aggressive actions took place, as we seek to deescalate and disengage, I think that could be the way to go back where we were. But not until then," he said articulating India’s position.