NEW DELHI: Soon after holding nearly 3-hour long talks with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said the relation between India and China was “not normal” given the presence of a large number of troops along the border.
Addressing a press conference here, Jaishankar said that the normalcy in bilateral ties cannot return till the situation in border areas is “abnormal”.
“My talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi have just concluded. We met for about three hours and addressed a broad and broad substantive agenda in an open and candid manner. We discussed our bilateral relations that have been disturbed as a result of Chinese actions in April 2020,” EAM Jaishankar told media persons.
He described the ongoing efforts to resolve the border standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as “work in progress”. “Current situation is a work in progress; obviously, at a slower pace than desirable,” the EAM said.
Dr Jaishankar further said, “The progress has been achieved on several friction points on disengagement perspective. This needs to be taken forward since the completion of disengagement is necessary for discussion on de-escalation to take place.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and EAM Jaishankar also exchanged views on important international events including the situation in Afghanistan and Ukraine, the EAM said.
The Chinese foreign minister landed in New Delhi on Thursday evening for an unannounced visit, the first high-level visit by a Chinese official since the border standoff started along the LAC in April 2020.
FM Yi’s visit also comes days after his remark on Kashmir evoked a strong response from the government of India. Speaking on the foreign ministers’ summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Islamabad on Tuesday, Yi had said, “On Kashmir, we have heard again today the calls of many of our Islamic friends. And China shares the same hope.”
On being asked if he raised the matter of Yi’s remarks during their talks, EAM S Jaishankar said, “I conveyed that we hope that China would follow an independent policy in respect of India and not allow its policies to be influenced by other countries and other relationships.”
Other important areas in bilateral relations that both the leaders discussed include education, travel and commerce.
During the talks, India appealed to China for an earlier arrangement for Indian students to return to China for the studies.
Foreign Minister Yi also met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval before holding delegation level talks with EAM S Jaishankar.