China’s Reaction to Foreign Minister S Jaishankar’s Firm Message on the Ladakh Situation

While China has deployed its forces out of Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso, the disengagement from other friction points in eastern Ladakh, including as Hot Springs, Gogra, and Depsang, has not been completed. After India made it clear to China that the continuation of the current situation in eastern Ladakh was having a “negative impact” on bilateral ties, Beijing indicated today that it is willing to negotiate a “mutually acceptable solution” to the issues that demand “urgent treatment.”

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart and State Councilor Wang Yi during an hour-long in-person meeting on the sidelines of a SCO conclave in Dushanbe on Wednesday that any unilateral change in the status quo along the Line of Actual Control was “not acceptable” to India, and that overall ties can only develop after full restoration of peace in Ladakh.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said today in a statement on Mr Wang’s talks with Mr Jaishankar that India-China ties remained at a low point, although the situation at the LAC has generally been easing after the withdrawal of soldiers from the Galwan Valley and Pangong Lake.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wang-Jaishankar talks, Mr Jaishankar told Mr Wang that any unilateral change in the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was “unacceptable” to India, and that overall ties could only develop after full restoration of peace and tranquillity in eastern Ladakh.

China’s strategic assessment of China-India ties has not changed. The connection between China and India should not be viewed as a danger to one another, but rather as a chance for mutual progress. He emphasised that the two countries are partners, not rivals or foes.

Mr Jaishankar, recalling their last meeting in Moscow in September 2020, emphasised the need of carrying out the agreement reached at that time and completing the disengagement as soon as possible, settling the remaining concerns along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.

Military officials estimate that each side has between 50,000 and 60,000 troops along the LAC in the critical zone.

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