China ready to seek mutually acceptable solution to border tension: Wang Yi

NEW DELHI : China on Thursday said its foreign minister Wang Yi had told his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar that it is ready to seek a “mutually acceptable solution” through talks to issues that require “urgent treatment”—a reference to tensions along its borders with India.

This came a day after Indian foreign minister Jaishankar conveyed to Wang that prolonging the existing situation in eastern Ladakh—where tens of thousands of troops were in an eyeball to eyeball confrontation for more than 14 months—was visibly impacting bilateral ties in a “negative manner”.

The talks between the two foreign ministers took place in the Tajik capital Dushanbe on Wednesday and lasted an hour, according to a Twitter post by Jaishankar. It comes amid a stalemate in the disengagement process between the two militaries at several friction points in eastern Ladakh after they withdrew troops, tanks and weapons from the Pangong Tso in February. According to military officials, each side currently has 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

In a statement posted on its website on Thursday, the Chinese foreign ministry said Wang had said that India-China relations remained at a “low point” while the situation at the border has “generally been easing” after the withdrawal of troops from Pangong Tso.

The Chinese foreign minister repeated Beijing’s position that it was not responsible for the tensions on the India-China border.

“China is ready to seek a mutually acceptable solution to the issues that require urgent treatment through negotiation and consultation with the Indian side,” he was quoted as saying in the Chinese statement.

According to an Indian readout of the talks issued on Wednesday, Jaishankar told Wang that any unilateral change in the status quo along the LAC was “not acceptable” to India and that the overall ties can only move forward after the full restoration of peace and tranquility in eastern Ladakh.

While agreeing to discuss a mutually acceptable solution to the “issues that require urgent treatment”, Wang said the two sides should place the boundary issue in an “appropriate position” within the bilateral relations and create favourable conditions for the settlement of differences through negotiation by expanding the positive aspects of bilateral cooperation, the Chinese statement reads.

“It is important to consolidate the achievements of the disengagement, strictly abide by the agreement and consensus between the two sides, refrain from taking any unilateral action in the sensitive disputed areas, and avoid the recurrence of the situation due to misunderstanding and misjudgement,” Wang was quoted as saying in the Chinese statement.

“We need to take a long-term view, shift from emergency management to normal border management and control mechanisms, and prevent border-related incidents from causing unnecessary disruptions to bilateral relations,” Wang said.

PTI contributed to this story.

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