Diplomacy is the solution to India-China tensions, says External Affairs Minister Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to meet Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow

The solution to the India-China situation at the Line of Actual control has to be found in diplomacy, said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, repeating his recent statements on the importance of talks to resolve tensions. His Ministry confirmed that he will travel to Moscow for the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting on September 10, where China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be present.

“We have to work our way through this,” he said, referring to the stand-off at the LAC in Ladakh over the past four months, at the launch of his book The India Way on Thursday. “I am being realistic and am in touch with the ground situation. But I am convinced that the way out is through diplomacy, and that will happen if both sides understand that it is in each of their best interests if the events of this summer are not repeated,” he said.

Confirming that he will meet Mr. Wang when he travels to Russia next week, Mr. Jaishankar said that he has known Mr. Wang for a “long time”, and left it for all “to guess” what their conversation would be. The MEA has said that the Chinese Army has violated the consensus reached between Mr. Jaishankar and Mr. Wang, with its actions at the LAC.

Mr. Jaishankar, who was in conversation with Observer Research Foundation president Samir Saran, said that it is important to take a long view of the relationship between India and China, which has been “difficult” in more recent times, but has been “good in many parts” as well.

“This is not the easiest of times in the relationship, but I have taken the long view [in the book],” he said, “It is imperative and vital for both [India and China] to reach an accommodation.”

When asked about the seeming contradiction in his planned meetings with Russian and Chinese leaders in the next week at the virtual BRICS and the SCO FMs meets, while also preparing for the meeting with U.S. Secretary of State and Foreign Ministers of Quad Allies Australia and Japan next month, Mr. Jaishankar said that it may seem “curious” but it is the current reality of the world to belong to different groupings for different issues.

He also said that the most “impactful and startling shift” in the world has been wrought by the “changed approach of the United States” towards multilateralism and towards its alliance partners.

During the launch, Mr. Jaishankar was congratulated by a range of world leaders through video messages, including the Foreign Ministers of Australia, the UAE and Singapore, as well as Maldivian Speaker and former President Mohamed Nasheed, who praised the book. Singapore FM Vivian Balakrishnan, who recalled that the book had been started as a fellowship project at the Institute of South Asian Studies in Singapore, said it was “filled with wisdom from postings in key capitals,” referring to Mr. Jaishankar’s previous assignments as the Indian Ambassador to Singapore, Beijing and Washington.

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