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India claims situation with China fragile, dangerous in the Himalayan front

NEW DELHI: According to Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, the situation between India and China in the Ladakh region of the western Himalayas is unstable and dangerous, with armed units stationed near to one another in some areas.

When the two sides clashed in the area in the middle of 2020, at least 24 troops were killed, but the conflict has since subsided thanks to several rounds of diplomatic and military negotiations.

In December, violence broke out in the eastern part of the unmarked boundary between the two nuclear-armed Asian superpowers, but no one was killed.

In some areas, our deployments are quite close together and, according to military assessments, are thus quite risky, Jaishankar said at an India Today summit. “The situation, in my opinion, still remains very unstable,” he added.

According to him, the border dispute cannot be settled in accordance with the September 2020 in-principal agreement he signed with his Chinese counterpart before India-China relations can return to normal.

The Chinese have battled with having to fulfill their end of the bargain.

Even though both sides’ soldiers have left several places, negotiations are still going on over issues that have not been settled, according to Jaishankar.

“We have been quite explicit with the Chinese that a breach of peace and serenity is not acceptable, and that we want the remainder of our relationship to proceed as usual. That is simply not plausible.”

On the fringes of a G20 summit hosted by India this month, Jaishankar claimed he spoke with Qin Gang, China’s new foreign minister, about the predicament.

Jaishankar expressed optimism that New Delhi could make the G20 “more faithful to its global purpose” during India’s G20 chairmanship this year.

“The G20 should not be a debating club or an arena just of the global north. There is a need to include all global issues. That argument has already been expressed quite clearly, “added Jaishankar.

In the past three weeks, there have been two G20 ministerial gatherings in India, but they have been overshadowed by Russia’s 13-month invasion of Ukraine.

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