India said on Saturday that relations with China could not be “business as usual” until the continuing military stalemate in the Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is resolved and peace and tranquility are not restored in the border areas.
The Indian side’s stance on the LAC standoff was conveyed to the Japanese side during the annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla said during a meeting. briefing.
Shringla was answering reporters’ questions about whether China was being discussed by the two prime ministers. “The question of China has been raised. The two countries have informed each other of their views,” he said.
The Indian side briefed the Japanese side “on the situation in Ladakh…the attempted troop gathering, the attempted multiple transgressions, and also the fact that we were in talks with China on border issues and recent problems”. in Ladakh,” he said.
“We have also clarified that until and unless we have a resolution of the issues involved [and] there was peace and quiet in the border areas, we couldn’t consider the relationship to be business as usual,” Shringla said.
“Normality in the relationship would depend on progress on the issues we are discussing,” he added.
The stalemate, which began in May 2020, and a brutal clash in the Galwan Valley that killed 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese soldiers, have taken bilateral relations to a historic low. The Indian side said China has yet to explain why it violated several agreements and protocols on border management by massing troops on the LAC and unilaterally trying to change the status quo.
Despite several rounds of diplomatic and military talks, India and China could only agree on the disengagement of frontline troops on the northern and southern shores of Pangong Lake and in Gogra. Troops from both sides remain at several other sticking points in the Ladakh sector, and India has rejected repeated calls from China for the standoff to be decoupled from continued ties in other areas such as the trade.
A joint statement released after the India-Japan summit said the two countries, as major Indo-Pacific powers, have a common interest in maritime domain safety and security, freedom of navigation and overflight. , unimpeded lawful trade and “peaceful resolution”. disputes in full respect of judicial and diplomatic procedures in accordance with international law”.
The two Prime Ministers will continue to prioritize international law, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and “facilitate collaboration, including on maritime security, to address challenges against the rules-based maritime order in the East and the South”. seas of China”.
Without naming China, the joint statement calls for “the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the early conclusion of a substantial and effective code of conduct in the South China Sea”. in accordance with international law. and UNCLOS.
The joint statement condemned the terrorist attacks in India, including the Mumbai and Pathankot bombings, and called on Pakistan to take “resolute and irreversible action against terrorist networks operating outside its territory and to comply fully with the commitments international organizations, including towards the FATF”.
The two sides also called on all countries to eliminate terrorist havens and infrastructure, disrupt terrorist networks and their funding channels, and halt the cross-border movement of terrorists. They further called on all countries to “ensure that the territory under their control is not used to launch terrorist attacks”. [and] promptly bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks.”