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Current situation is a 'Work in Progress': EAM on meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

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New Delhi, Mar 25: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that he discussed the bilateral relations with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi which have been distributed as a result of Chinese actions in April 2020.

Current situation is a Work in Progress: EAM on meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

"My talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi has just concluded. We met for about 3 hours and addressed a broad and broad substantive agenda in an open & candid manner. We discussed our bilateral relations that have been disturbed as a result of Chinese actions in April 2020," he said.

During the 3-hour meeting, S Jaishankar raised the issue of China's recent comment about Kashmir at a recent session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Pakistan and explained why India objected to its remark.

He said, "I explained to him why we found that statement objectionable. It was a subject discussed at some length. There was a larger context as well. I conveyed that we hope that China would follow an independent policy in respect of India and not allow its policies to be influenced by other countries and other relationships."

The occasion provided an opportunity to exchange views on major international issues, including Afghanistan and Ukraine, the EAM said. "Current situation is a 'Work in Progress', obviously, at a slower pace than desirable...This needs to be taken forwards since completion of the disengagement (at LAC) is necessary for disengagement," he added.

"The impact of the tension at the border areas on the overall relationship has been visible in the last two years. This is only natural since peace and tranquillity at the border areas have been the foundation of stable and cooperative ties. Indeed we have agreements designed to strengthen these foundations and prevent the kind of situation that we are seeing today," S Jaishankar stated.

He further claimed that India's relationship with China at this stage is not normal. "Our relationship is not normal, given the presence of a large number of troops in contravention of the 1993-96 agreements. So long there are very large deployments, the border situation is not normal. We still have ongoing friction areas, have made progress in resolving some friction areas including Pangong Tso. Our discussion today was how to take this forward. There have been 15 rounds of talks," the EAM said.

"There was no timeline...a parallel but a separate discussion took place in regard to sorting out the situation in border areas," S Jainshankar said in response to a question on whether any timeline has been set for disengagement and de-escalation at LAC.

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
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Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

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