Jaishankar discusses ‘outstanding issues’ with Wang, tells unilateral change in status quo along LAC not acceptable

New Delhi, July 14 (FN Bureau) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday told China’s Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi that unilateral change of status quo along the Line of Actual Control was not acceptable to India. Jaishankar met Wang on the sidelines of the SCO Foreign Ministers meeting in Tajikistan capital Dushanbe and discussed “outstanding issues” along the LAC in the Western Sector. After the one-hour-long bilateral meeting, the EAM in a tweet said he “highlighted that unilateral change of status quo is not acceptable.

Full restoration and maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas are essential for development of our ties.” The two ministers agreed on convening a meeting of the Senior Military Commanders at the earliest. “They also agreed that in this meeting, the two sides should discuss all the remaining issues and seek a mutually acceptable solution,” said an MEA statement. “There was also an understanding that both sides will continue to ensure stability on the ground and neither side will take any unilateral action that could increase tension,” MEA said. The two ministers had a detailed exchange of views on the current situation along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh and also on other issues related to the overall India-China relations. Recalling their last meeting in Moscow, in September 2020, the EAM emphasized the need to follow through on the agreement reached then and complete the disengagement, resolving the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh at the earliest.

He pointed out to Wang that the successful disengagement in the Pangong Lake Area earlier this year had created conditions for resolving the remaining issues. It was expected that the Chinese side would work with us towards this objective. “EAM noted, however, that the situation in remaining areas is still unresolved,” said the MEA. Jaishankar also recalled that both sides had agreed that a prolongation of the existing situation was not in the interest of either side. It was visibly impacting the relationship in a negative manner. Assessing the overall relationship, EAM emphasized that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas has been the foundation for the development of ties since 1988. The attempts to change the status quo last year that also disregarded commitments under the 1993 and 1996 agreements have inevitably affected ties. He emphasised that it was, therefore, in mutual interest that the two sides work towards early resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh, while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols.