China demands that the border be retained in its proper location and that direct flights with India be resumed.

    Image credit: The Financial Express

    In discussions with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang urged India to view relations in the light of once-in-a-century changes in the world and to put the border problem in its appropriate context.

    Mr. Jaishankar had noted the abnormal state of relations during Thursday’s meetings in New Delhi and reiterated India’s position that the restoration of calm along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was necessary for a return to normalcy.

    The Indian military has viewed the Chinese side’s requirements as unreasonable in the protracted negotiations that have tried to drag on for nearly three years in an effort to finish the separation process along the LAC. In the meantime, the Chinese side has decided to seek to delink the dividing line from the rest of the ties.

    The Chinese position, which was reiterated by Mr. Qin, is that “the border problem should be put in the correct place in diplomatic cooperation” and that the condition on the frontiers should be put under normalized control as soon as practicable.”

    S. Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, stated at a press conference on Thursday that he had spoken with Mr. Qin about the unusual current status of the “bilateral relationship” and how to maintain peace and tranquilly at the LAC.

    Mr. Jaishankar was described in the Chinese statement as concurring that historical context and strategic height should be used to understand and enhance “bilateral relations.”

    Shilpak Ambule, Joint Secretary in the MEA, travelled to Beijing for the 26th meeting of the “Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Issues” last week, where the two sides held their first high-level border talks in person in much more than 3 years. The next round of negotiations between top military commanders will take place as soon as possible. The two parties agreed after discussing recommendations for disengaging in two hot spots that still cause friction.