China tried to coerce India during 2020 Galwan Valley stand-off, EAM Jaishankar said
Maintaining that China tried to coerce India in 2020 during the Galwan Valley stand-off by violating existing agreements, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that normalcy in bilateral ties was not possible till there was peace and tranquillity on the borders (Line of Actual Control or LAC). "We want peace with China, but if peace agreements are violated then what can be done,” he said on Thursday (June 8, 2023) while responding to a question at a special media briefing on nine years of the Narendra Modi government. EAM Jaishankar explained that the India-China “relationship is impacted, and the relationship will continue to be impacted”. If there was any expectation that somehow ties will normalise while the border situation is not normal, that was not a well-founded expectation, he emphasized. He, however, added that talks were still happening. “We spoke to China just before Galwan happened... We told them about movement of their troops. I spoke to them just a day after Galwan. We have to find a way to disengage, otherwise relations (with China) will remain impaired if the border situation doesn't improve, " EAM Jaishankar said. Describing the situation in Galwan Valley (eastern Ladakh) as "complicated”, EAM Jaishankar said talks were continuing at two levels – the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination (WMCC) led by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and with the participation of the military and the Corps Commander-level talks led by the military and with the participation of the military. "The two of us have to find a way of disengaging because I don't believe this present impasse serves China's interest either,” he argued. In June 2020, a tense standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh had led to a violent face-off in Galwan Valley. Twenty Indian soldiers had lost their lives. A large number of Chinese troops were also killed though China has never officially confirmed the actual number of deaths. Multiple rounds of talks since then have led to a disengagement at several places, including in Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, and Gogra-Hot Springs (PP-15). Talks are continuing on ensuring disengagement at the remaining friction points. CROSS-BORDER TERRORISM A BIG CHALLENGE IN TIES WITH PAKISTAN While pointing out that India had strengthened its relations with most of the neighbouring countries, he said that challenges remained when it came to Pakistan especially as it propagates cross-border terrorism which cannot be tolerated. While presenting a report card of India's foreign policy during the last nine years of the Modi government, EAM Jaishankar said large parts of the world now see India as a development partner and that the Global South perceives India as a reliable partner. He also said that India is making a significant economic impact that has been recognised globally.