New Delhi [India], June 8 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that India does not get swayed by coercion, inducements and false narratives, however, he added that India and China must find a way to step back from potential confrontation in the western Himalayas.
Addressing a special briefing on nine years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, he said, "India does not get swayed by coercion, inducements and false narratives. The two of us have to find a way of disengaging because I don't believe this present impasse serves China's interest either," while explaining the Galwan clashes.
Following the clash with the Chinese troops in June 2020, Indian Army formations deployed near the Galwan Valley, along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, have undertaken a range of activities such as surveying border areas to stop a "possible" Chinese aggression, an officer of the Indian Army said.
"The fact is the relationship is impacted, and the relationship will continue to be impacted. If there is any expectation that somehow we will normalise while the border situation is not normal, that's not a well-founded expectation," he said.
Jaishankar also said that India wishes to improve relations with China but it will happen only when there is peace and tranquility on the border.
"The morning after Galwan happened, I talked to my counterpart and I continue to do that till now. The two of us have to find a way to listen to each other. The fact is the relationship has impacted and it will continue to impact," he added.
Explaining the Galwan clashes, Jaishankar said that the India-China position is "very complicated." He also said that normally, the army is not deployed at LOC but after 2020, it was changed and both sides have done "forward deployment.""We have to resolve this forward deployment issue," he added.
"These mechanisms continue to do the work because, at the end of the day, disengagement is a very detailed process... all of this would continue to happen," he said.
Summing up nine years of PM Modi's government, Jaishankar highlighted that India has tried to expand its economic base, and technology base, tried to find security partners, and has been largely successful.
He said, "Our relationship with all the major power centers has evolved. You look at the US, look at Russia, the UK, France, the EU, Germany, and Japan, or if you take regions, the Gulf, and ASEAN, each one of these have advanced. The relations advanced because the Prime Minister himself has sort of led the diplomatic efforts from the front. But we have tried to find areas of agreement, of collaboration, of working together with these countries."Jaishankar also explained that although India's relations with all global powers have progressed they remain sour with China.
"Because China consciously, for some reason, chose in 2020 to breaking agreements to move forces to the border areas and seek to coerce us. So I think it's been made very clear to them that until there is peace and tranquillity in the border areas, our relationship cannot progress," said Jaishankar adding, "So that is the obstacle which is holding that back."Giving a nine-year report card of the 'Neighbourhood First policy', Jaishankar said that if there was progress in the neighbourhood and there were challenges as well.
Ministers of State V Muraleedharan, Meenakashi Lekhi, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh and Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra were also present during the breifing. (ANI)