Let’s resolve border row fast, EAM Jaishankar tells China

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New Delhi: China should deal with India on merits and avoid viewing its bilateral ties from the perspective of New Delhi’s relations with third countries, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during an interaction in Bishkek late on Thursday.

“India does not believe in the clash of civilisations and considers unity among Asian countries a crucial matter. Asian solidarity would depend on the example set by India-China relations,” the minister said in his second meeting in three months with Wang to resolve the border issue. Jaishankar emphasised that the two sides should work towards early resolution of the border issues because prolongation of the existing situation was negatively impacting the relationship. “The ministers agreed that military and diplomatic officials should meet again and continue their discussions to resolve the remaining issues at the earliest,” said the Indian readout.

The Chinese readout said Wang hoped India would meet China “halfway” to shift the situation in eastern Ladakh from “urgent dispute settlement” to regular management and control.

China has always been positive in seeking a proper solution to the border issue and the recent meetings between military commanders and diplomats were “earnest and effective”, it added.

Significantly, Wang also said India and China should be opportunities of development to each other rather than threats. About $2 billion in potential Chinese FDI is stuck, including a $300 million takeover of the GM car plant in Maharashtra.

The Chinese side extensively quoted Jaishankar, especially on his “clash of civilisations” observation as also that India was willing to work with China to comply with the agreements reached by both sides as also within BRICS and SCO.

On the specifics of the border dispute, Jaishankar noted “some progress” in the resolution of the remaining border issues in eastern Ladakh after the completion of disengagement in the Gogra area. However, some outstanding issues still needed to be resolved, he added.

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