Galwan Valley faceoff was a ‘sharp departure’ in India-China ties over 30 years: Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said it left India-China relationship profoundly disturbed
Reiterating that 30 years of strong relationship based on peace and tranquility was shaken in a single shot, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has said that the Galwan Valley faceoff in June was a very “sharp departure” in India-China ties.
“From the conceptual level down to the behavioral level, there was an entire sort of framework out there. What we saw this year was a departure from this entire series of agreements. The massing of a large amount of Chinese forces on the border was clearly contrary to all of this,” he said during an online discussion organized by the Asia Society.
The External Affairs Minister further said that the Galwan Valley clash on June 15 had a serious public and political impact. It was the first military casualty we had after 1975, he added.
“So what it has done is, it has obviously had a very deep public impact, very major political impact and it has left the relationship profoundly disturbed,” Jaishankar pointed out.
“And when you had friction points which have a large number of troops at different points very close to each other, then something tragic like what happened on the 15th of June happened,” he added.
Since the India-China war of 1962, both countries have tried maintaining diplomatic and economic relationships. After the 2018 Wuhan Summit in China, another took place at the end of the last year in Chennai, India where Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi communicated to maintain peace without bureaucratic filters.
“The importance of communicating at a leadership level without all the bureaucratic filters so that you actually know each other and talk to each other. A lot of the discussions were about the future, our prospects, our history,” Jaishankar said.
In response to a question on what did the Chinese actually do on the border and why they did it, Jaishankar said: "I haven't frankly got any reasonable explanation that I can tell myself from them on this matter.”
"There are today a very large number of troops with weapons concentrated on that segment of the border and that is obviously a very critical security challenge that we face," Jaishankar said.
“If that underlying peace and tranquillity is disturbed, if the agreements which the two sides signed are not honored, then clearly that is the primary cause of the disruption,” Jaishankar said during the discussion.
He added: “If you disturb the foundation of this relationship, you cannot be impervious to the fact that it will have consequences...that problem...was not created on our side.”
India and China are amid discussions to resolve the border tension. However, maintaining complete peace and tranquility seems a little far-fetched in the current situation.
China’s foreign ministry had on Monday cited India’s infrastructure development and troop deployments as the root causes of tensions. It also said India should refrain from actions that could escalate the situation.
Responding to the Chinese foreign ministry’s allegations, India on Thursday called on China to work for complete disengagement at friction points on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) while rejecting Beijing’s contention that infrastructure development and troop deployments by New Delhi were the root causes of tensions at the border.