Relations between India and China are currently going through a “particularly bad period” and India’s interests are better served with closer ties with the US and Europe, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar said on Friday.
Regarding the stalemate in the Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Jaishankar said the drop in relations was due to China’s actions in violation of bilateral pacts, which he told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during the last. had communicated meetings at which New Delhi talks about the relationship with Beijing.
“We are going through an especially bad period in our relationship because they have taken a number of actions in violation of agreements for which they still have no credible explanation, and this seems to indicate that they are pondering where our relationship is going want to lead. “, but they have to answer that,” he said at a panel discussion on “Great Power Contest: The Emerging World Order” at the Bloomberg New Economic Forum in Singapore.
“I don’t think the Chinese have any doubts about where we stand in our relationship and what’s wrong with it. I met my counterpart Wang Yi a few times. As you have learned, I am speaking fairly clearly and reasonably understandably [and] there is no lack of clarity. So if they wanted to hear it, they would have heard it for sure, ”Jaishankar said in response to a question on whether China was aware of how it had mishandled its relations with India.
Jaishankar has said in the past that China has failed to provide a credible explanation for the masses of troops on the LAC and the stalemate that began last May. India has blamed China’s unilateral efforts to change the status quo at the disputed border for the confrontation that resulted in the LAC’s first deaths since 1975.
In a brutal clash in the Galwan Valley in June last year, 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese soldiers were killed. Although the two sides withdrew the front troops at Lake Pangong and in Gogra after several rounds of talks, there has been no progress in withdrawing on other points of friction since August. India has also linked the normalization of general relations with China to the resolution of the stalemate.
On another question in the discussion, which also included ex-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ex-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Jaishankar said India’s interests are “better with a much closer relationship with the US, with a much stronger one” served relations with Europe and Great Britain, with a … revitalization of our relations with Asean, particularly with Singapore ”.
“I think there is no question that the US has been making strategic deals for some time. Don’t confuse it with the downfall of the US, I think that’s ridiculous. But, relatively and absolutely, American power or influence is no longer what it used to be, ”he said.
The US is now a “much more flexible partner, much more open to ideas, suggestions and working arrangements than in the past,” and this reflects a changed world.
At the same time, China is expanding, although its growing influence is very different from that of the US. “We don’t have a situation where China is necessarily replacing the US,” he said.
The world is now more multipolar, and many countries, including India, have “come into play much more strongly,” said Jaishankar. The overall landscape has become “more volatile” and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, is a good example of how countries come together on a range of concerns or issues, he added.
Jaishankar acknowledged that some of India’s positioning is “above China” and that the steps the country is taking are “partly a hedging strategy” and “partly autonomous partnerships” that are thematic. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend because it raised questions about the old style of globalization and highlighted the need for more reliable and resilient supply chains, he said.
In this context, he referred to the Quad initiative to manufacture and distribute a US-developed Covid-19 vaccine from India with Japanese financial support and Australian logistics support. This initiative reflects decentralized globalization, more resilient supply chains, more trust and transparency, and more flexible combinations that result in solutions to a particular challenge, he added.
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