'Ladakh stand-off profoundly disturbed ties with China'

Ladakh stand-off profoundly disturbed ties with China: Jaishankar

Jaishankar said the India-China relationship is truly at the crossroads today

Elaborating on eight points for moving forward in bilateral ties, the external affairs minister said agreements already reached on management of the LAC must be adhered to in their entirety and in letter and spirit. Credit: iStock Photo

India and China are truly at crossroads and their choices will have profound repercussions, not just for them but for the entire world, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday.

He outlined eight broad principles and three “mutuals” to mend strained ties between India and China.

In an address at an online conference, Jaishankar said the developments in eastern Ladakh last year brought the relationship under “exceptional stress” and India is yet to receive a credible explanation for the change in China's stance or reasons for amassing troops in the border areas.

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To take the bilateral ties forward, the minister listed eight principles, including strict adherence to all agreements on border management, fully respecting the Line of Actual Control (LAC), making peace and tranquillity along the frontier the basis for overall ties, recognising that a multi-polar Asia is an essential constituent of a multi-polar world and managing differences effectively.

Mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests are the determining factors for better relations, he said while delivering keynote address at the 13th All India Conference of China Studies.

The minister said that as rising powers, India and China will have their own set of aspirations and their pursuit too cannot be ignored.

“Any expectation that can be brushed aside, and that life can carry on undisturbed despite the situation at the border, that is simply not realistic,” he said.

Jaishankar said the developments in eastern Ladakh have “profoundly disturbed” the relationship because they not only signaled a “disregard” for commitments about minimising troop levels, but also showed a willingness to breach peace and tranquility.