Indo-China talks

Amidst continuous standoff between China and India on Eastern Ladakh borders for over nearly two years and consistent stubborn attitude of China in not de-escalating the situation by returning to pre-May 2020 position on ”other remaining friction points” coupled with various rounds of talks between the two sides at the military and diplomatic levels not fructifying into a solution, the recent meeting between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in New Delhi assumes great significance. If it is said that an element of importance too can be attached with such a meet which lasted for over three hours, it will not be any sort of an overstatement. Amidst the ongoing Russian-Ukraine over a month long full scale war, this meeting can have its own interpretation by political analysts at international levels especially when this visit of Wang Yi was sudden and unscheduled though political murmurs had been rife for over a fortnight that Chinese Foreign Minister could visit India.
However, niceties of diplomacy assume more niceness if pure political business related to the non-negotiable issue of the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity continues to get preference and that exactly has unambiguously been conveyed by the Indian side presided over by External Affairs Minister and later by Ajit Doval National Security Advisor and his team who had a meeting with him for over an hour. The message was for establishing normal relations between the two powers, it was a must that the borders (LAC) had peace and the position of status- quo as existing in pre May 2020 fully restored. For that, a process of disengagement, which otherwise had slipped into an overdue tenure, on the remaining friction points, must be initiated (by China) in the right earnest. India cannot buy peace by sacrificing even an inch of its territory. If a win – win and win-lose like any formula or China seeking support of India in respect of its Road and Belt Initiative, at least not opposing such a dubiously aimed Chinese global infrastructure ”development” strategy, were there in China’s bag of strategy as a condition for normalising bilateral relations, it was daydreaming only looking to there being no dilution in the position of an eye ball to eye ball situation between the two armies otherwise in full combat on the borders. Which country in the present day world would not sincerely wish to live in perfect peace and harmony with neighbour but not doing it, not even in the least, at the cost of the borders remaining in dispute or in an abnormal position. The other reason of the offer of normalisation of the bilateral relations could be due to economic reasons as its imports to India have fallen by over 8 percent during the period 2020-21. It is believed that the Chinese Foreign Minister had proposed a three tier formula for normalising relations wherein very craftily it wants to keep the border conflict outside the purview of and not as a pre-condition of improving relations. That is totally unacceptable to India. Peace and full normalcy on borders only to be followed by other initiatives is India’s stand. It is also made clear to China that India was serious and going ahead with its strategic plan to improve connectivity infrastructure right up to orders as any sovereign country can do.
However, while briefing the media persons on the ongoing disengagement talks between the two countries, S. Jaishankar expressed optimism by describing the current situation as “Work in Progress” which obviously means the same is not sill completed and that this country wants the border de-escalation and process of disengagement on the friction points to be fully resolved. In other words, simply that means that the causes of such a scenario as existing on the concerned points on the LAC in Eastern Ladakh, post May 2020 have got to be reversed.
It may be noted that the recent meeting between the two Foreign Ministers was the third one, two of which had taken place in other countries on the sidelines of other meetings hosted by those countries. After the Galwan clash started by China treacherously which triggered the border escalation, the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister and his team is the first one, in fact, to be precise after December 2019 the first of such a nature. Though the Chinese Minister had come up with the issues concerning commerce and trade and rather avoiding or side tracking the border issue, Indian side preferred and stressed upon settling border issues first and returning of full peace and ”original position” on remaining points.