'No Change in Status of Line of Actual Control': India Dismisses China's Concerns on Regional Claims
New Delhi: India on Monday reiterated there would be no change in status of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) it shares with China, hours after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held talks with top Chinese leaders.
India and China have 3,488 km of LAC between them. The two countries have held 21 rounds of Special Representatives-level talks so far to resolve the boundary dispute.
Jaishankar’s three-day visit to China comes amid spiralling tensions between India and Pakistan over the revocation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
A statement issued by the government said that Jaishankar had held a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. “The Chinese Foreign Minister also brought up developments pertaining to legislation passed recently by the Indian Parliament on Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.
India said Jaishankar conveyed to Wang this was an internal matter and the issue related to changes in a temporary provision of the country’s constitution and was its sole prerogative.
“There was no implication for either the external boundaries of India or the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. India was not raising any additional territorial claims,” said the statement. “The Chinese concerns in this regard were, therefore, misplaced.”
Jaishankar further conveyed to Wang that where the India-China boundary question was concerned, the two countries had agreed to a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the boundary question on the basis of the 2005 Political Parameters and Guiding Principles.
Earlier on Monday, India and China agreed on a host of initiatives to improve their relations, with New Delhi emphasising that the future of the ties will depend on the mutual sensitivity to each other's "core concerns" to ensure that any bilateral differences should not become disputes.
Before he settled for a structured talk with his counterpart, Jaishankar met Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, a close confidant of President Xi Jinping. He held a frank discussion with Wang Qishan about the state of the bilateral ties in the context of China's concerns over the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
After India revoked Article 370 last week, China issued two separate statements outlining its position on Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
In one statement, China objected to the formation of Ladakh as a Union Territory by India, saying it undermined its territorial sovereignty. It also expressed "serious concern" about the current situation in the region and said "relevant sides need to exercise restraint and act prudently".