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India, China to keep supply chains and flights open amid Covid-19 crisis

Jaishankar also said that he and Wang also discussed the situation on the Ladakh border where the militaries of the two countries have been in an eye ball to eye ball confrontation for almost a year (MINT_PRINT)Premium
Jaishankar also said that he and Wang also discussed the situation on the Ladakh border where the militaries of the two countries have been in an eye ball to eye ball confrontation for almost a year (MINT_PRINT)

Jaishankar also said that he and Wang also discussed the situation on the Ladakh border where the militaries of the two countries have been in an eyeball to eyeball confrontation for almost a year

NEW DELHI: Indian and Chinese foreign ministers on Friday discussed keeping supply chains and fights connections between the two countries open as India battles a ferocious second wave of covid-19 infections.

That Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi had placed to call to his Indian counterpart was made known by Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar in three Twitter posts.

Jaishankar also said that he and Wang also discussed the situation on the Ladakh border where the militaries of the two countries have been in an eye ball to eye ball confrontation for almost a year.

“Received a call from State Councilor & FM Wang Yi conveying China’s sympathies at the COVID challenge now faced by India. Discussed the international cooperation aspects of the public health response to this difficult situation,’ Jaishankar said in his first post.

“Highlighted the importance of supply chains and air flights being kept open in these circumstances. Welcomed his assurances in that regard, as also more openness to Indian chartered flights," he said in a second post.

“Also discussed the issue of full and sincere implementation of the Moscow Agreement of complete disengagement at all friction points along the LAC and full restoration of peace and tranquility in Eastern Ladakh. Agreed to continue discussions in this respect," he added in a third post.

Covid-19 was first detected in China in late 2019 and spread across the world from there. India is battling a devastating wave with the daily number of infections crossing the 380,000 mark on Thursday and the total number of deaths now surpassing 200,000 to touch 204,000. Oxygen and some critical drugs are in short supply given that hospitals are overwhelmed by the number of people infected. New Delhi has made it a priority to source oxygen generating plants and related equipment from the markets across the world. Indian companies are sourcing oxygen concentrators and ventilators from Chinese companies some of whom are based in Hong Kong. And hence the emphasis on keeping supply chains open. Earlier this week, reports said China’s Sichuan Airlines had suspended flights to India putting in doubt the transportation of equipment sourced in China – the reason for Jaishankar to speak about the need to keep cargo flights and air routes operational.

The reference to the border follows the yearlong stand off between the two countries. While troops of the two countries disengaged from one friction point in February, troops are ranged against each other at several other points with many rounds of talks yielding no breakthrough. India has said that peace and tranquility on the border is essential for the two countries to take their ties forward something China does not agree with.

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