There is no word on whether foreign minister Jaishankar will have a bilateral with his Chinese counterpart on ...Read More
NEW DELHI: While holding China responsible for the deteriorating border situation, the MEA said Thursday the way forward was to hold negotiations "sincerely" and that India remained committed to resolving the issue peacefully through dialogue.
The government also confirmed that foreign minister S Jaishankar will be visiting Moscow next week for the SCO meeting, where his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi will also be present, and that India was looking forward to holding a Quad ministerial meeting later this year.
"Now the way ahead is negotiations, both through the diplomatic and military channels. The Indian side is firmly committed to resolving all outstanding issues through peaceful dialogue," said spokesperson Anurag Srivastava.
The government strongly urged China to "sincerely" engage the Indian side with the objective of expeditiously restoring peace and tranquility in the border areas through complete disengagement and de-escalation in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols.
While China had blamed India for the latest face-off at Pangong, the government said it was clear that the situation witnessed over the past four months was a direct result of the actions taken by the Chinese side that sought to effect unilateral change of status quo.
"These actions resulted in violation of the bilateral agreements and protocol which ensured peace and tranquility in the border areas for close to three decades," said the official.
While China has repeatedly concurred with India on the need for early and complete disengagement, this hasn't translated into action on the ground. Indian officials suspect China has used talks, both military and diplomatic, to buy time to further fortify the presence of its troops on the Indian side of LAC.
Confirming that the military commanders were still holding discussions to resolve the situation, India reiterated the consensus reached between the two foreign ministers and SRs that the situation at the border be handled in a responsible manner and neither side take any provocative action or escalate matters.
While Jaishankar will come face to face physically for the first time with Wang on September 10 in Moscow, it remains to be seen if they have a bilateral meeting. Diplomatic sources didn't rule out the possibility of a brief engagement to address the border situation. ToI had reported on August 2 that the foreign ministers could meet on September 10 in Moscow.
The two had spoken after the Galwan clash in June on phone and the conversation had helped establish the "broad principles" for disengagement. The two may have to start afresh though, given the damage to the process caused, according to India, by efforts of Chinese troops to unilaterally change the status quo on the south bank of the Pangong lake on the night of August 29 and early morning on August 30.
India's decision to host a meeting of ministers from Quad nations- US, Australia, Japan and India - is unlikely to go down well with Beijing though. This will be only the second meeting of Quad at the level of ministers. Both China and Russia see Quad as aimed at containing China. China's Global Times quoted experts to say earlier this week that a US-led NATO-like alliance won't be "reliable" for India.
In a message to the US, the Chinese embassy here also said Thursday that China and India had the ability to resolve their border disputes bilaterally and that they "don’t (sic) accept countries outside the region pointing fingers, let alone meddling or making instigation, which will only endanger the regional peace and stability".