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'World Has a Lot Riding on It': S Jaishankar Says Solution to India-China Border Dispute Has to Be Found Through Diplomacy

A file photo of S Jaishankar. (AFP)

A file photo of S Jaishankar. (AFP)

Asked about whether he would speak to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the SCO meeting in Moscow on September 10, S Jaishankar said the two have known each other for a long time, so they could have a "reasonable chat".

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said he is convinced that a solution for the ongoing border conflict between India and China would only be found through the domain of diplomacy.

“We (India and China) have a history, which is very good in some parts, indifferent in parts and difficult in parts. The difficult parts are more recent," said Jaishankar at the launch of his book ‘The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World’.

“I am also conscious you have the situation that we have in border areas of the western sector (across Ladakh). Because we have the long (term) view, our position there has been very clear — we have agreements and understandings with China. The agreements and understandings must be scrupulously observed by both parties," he said.

Jaishankar said he was not underplaying the seriousness of the situation. “The reality is what happens at the border will impact the relationship, you cannot separate it," he added.

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Jaishankar said neither party should change the status quo unilaterally, on a day when India accused China of effecting unilateral change in the status quo of the region along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. According to him, it is vital that the countries reached an accommodation. “The world has a lot riding on it," he said.

“I made this point a few days earlier in another context, I would say that I am totally convinced that a solution to the situation has to be found in the domain of diplomacy. And I say that with responsibility," he said.

Asked about whether he would speak to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Moscow on September 10, Jaishankar said the two had known each other for a long time, so they could have a “reasonable chat".

Asserting this is not the easiest of times for the India-China relationship, Jaishankar said his book was written before the Galwan Valley clashes in June in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed.

Jaishankar said India and China were two civilisational states about to enter the fourth industrial revolution when most other big civilisations had failed to even make it so far.

The minister’s comments came a day after the Indian government notched up the pressure on Beijing by banning 118 mostly-Chinese mobile applications, including the popular online multiplayer game PUBG, after a fresh round of border confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh.

Meanwhile, Jaishankar also attended the G20 ‘Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting’ on Thursday, along with his Chinese counterpart. “To facilitate more cross-border movement of people, proposed that we standardise testing procedures and universal acceptability of test results, quarantine procedures, movement and transit protocols," he said in a tweet after the meeting.