A day after India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar listed an eight-point framework for steps China must take to repair bilateral ties with India — China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Friday released a statement where he amusingly asked the Indian side to delink the boundary issue from the overall ties between the two countries.
“He (Jaishankar) stressed the importance of India-China relations; it shows the Indian side attaches importance to the ties with China, we appreciate this. Meanwhile, we stress that the boundary issue shall not be linked with the overall bilateral relations. That is important experience we have gathered through the countries many years efforts to keep the ties moving forward. We hope the Indian side will work with us to properly manage difference, promote practical cooperation and bring bilateral relations back on track.” said Lijian to the reporters.
Reported by TFI, speaking at the online All India Conference of China Studies, Jaishankar at the beginning of his keynote speech hit the ground running by remarking that agreements already reached between India-China must be adhered to in their entirety, both in letter and spirit. The EAM further talked about the LAC and how any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo of the region was completely unacceptable.
“Where the handling of the border areas are concerned, the LAC must be strictly observed and respected; any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo is completely unacceptable. Third, peace and tranquillity in the border areas is the basis for development of relations in other domains. If they are disturbed, so inevitably will the rest of the relationship. This is quite apart from the issue of progress in the boundary negotiations.” said Jaishankar.
In the past, or to be more precise, during the Congress and UPA rule, the bilateral talks used to continue even when China actively infiltrated into the Indian borders. Similar was the case with Pakistan as UPA continued holding talks even when Islamabad exported terrorism in bulk quantities to the nation.
Beijing still thinks that it is the ‘UPA-era-India’ that will falter after some time and meet at the table for ‘discussion’ with the Politburo of Beijing.
However, if the last few years of the Modi regime have taught us anything then it is that the ‘New India’ likes to walk the talk and give the enemy an odd punch here and there just to keep it in check.
India has already inflicted heavy damage on the economic side of things by permanently banning TikTok, WeChat, and 59 other Chinese espionage apps. Add to it, the routine bashing superior Indian armed forces give to the untrained PLA troops who have been forced to the sub-zero, frigid temperatures of Ladakh.
The statements by Zhao Lijian shows Beijing’s insecurity draped in the garb of cockiness. India has been firm in its response at the border and it appears that Beijing is failing in giving the desired response. Instead of waving the white flag, Xi Jinping is throwing the last dice by trying to delink the boundary issue and sit across the table. However, New Delhi has made its decision which is final, non-negotiable, and binding.
The ball is still in Jinping’s court and the sooner he comes around the fact that India is not wilting away from its demands, the better it is for his country.