Agencies (KATHMANDU, 7 September 2021) – External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday, 6 September, said that managing ties with China remains high on the Indian government’s agenda.
India and China have been engaged in diplomatic and military talks after tensions began rising along the high-altitude border in 2020. The situation between the two countries escalated when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a skirmish in mid-June last year at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh.
“After 1975, when we had a relatively small clash, we actually had no fatalities on the border. Yet what we saw last year was a complete departure. There was a very large Chinese military presence in very operational mode at the border without a good reason.”
Jaishankar said that Galwan Valley incident took the India-China relationship in a ‘completely different direction’.
“Once we countered that, it led to a very serious clash in June last year in which a lot of lives were lost. It has taken the relationship in completely different direction. In India, challenge of how to manage our relationship with China ranks very very high,” he said.
Jaishankar also spoke about former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China in 1988 to boost the relationship between the two countries.
“PM Rajiv Gandhi went to China in 1988, built our relationship predicated on the fact that the border would be peaceful & tranquil. We did that by a series of agreements which built confidence, which said don’t bring your military to the border,” he said.