External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that India and China are engaged in talks to resolve the border standoff and what is going on is “something confidential” between the two sides.
Asked about the outcome of the ongoing talks during an online conclave, Jaishankar gave a cryptic response that the “discussions are going on and it is a work in progress”.
At the same time, he said there has been a troop build-up along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and in many ways it has no precedence in the recent past.
India and China are locked in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh for over five months.
“Discussions are on; what is going on is something confidential between us and the Chinese,” he said, when asked about it at the Bloomberg India Economic Forum. “There is not very much that I am in a position to say in public. I certainly do not want to prejudge it,” he added.
About the situation in Tibet as well as developments along the LAC, Jaishankar said, “I do not think we should get into other issues which frankly has nothing to do with the situation currently in Ladakh.”
He said relations between India and China improved following signing of a series of agreements since 1993 on maintaining peace and tranquillity along the border. “For the last 30 years, we have built a relationship predicated on peace and tranquility along the border,” he said.
Jaishankar said that if peace and tranquility is not ensured and the agreements signed are not honoured, then that is the “primary cause of disruption”.
Earlier in the day, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in response to the Chinese statement on Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh, “Our position on this has always been clear and consistent. The Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are, and would remain an integral part of India. China has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal matters. We hope that countries will not comment on India’s internal matters, as much as they expect the same of others.”
“Our position on Arunachal Pradesh has also been made clear several times. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India…” he said.
And, on the situation at the LAC, he reiterated the joint statement issued after the seventh round of Senior Commanders’ talks held on October 12.
“The talks were positive and constructive. The two sides have a better understanding of each other’s positions. Disengagement is a complex process that requires redeployment of troops by each side towards their regular posts on their respective sides of the LAC,” he said.