After pushing the Chinese back to their territory by starting the disengagement process at the Pangong-Tso area near the LAC, India has not dropped the intensity — albeit it has started to turn the screws of the Politburo in Beijing. In clear and concise statements, the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in a telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi authoritatively remarked that bilateral talks can only go on normally if China disengages from all the other contentious positions along the LAC.
“Spoke to State Councilor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi this afternoon. Discussed the implementation of our Moscow Agreement and reviewed the status of disengagement.” tweeted the EAM.
Spoke to State Councilor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi this afternoon. Discussed the implementation of our Moscow Agreement and reviewed the status of disengagement.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) February 25, 2021
“The EAM referred to the meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister in September 2020 in Moscow where Indian side had expressed its concern on provocative behaviour and unilateral attempts of the Chinese side to alter status quo. He noted that the bilateral relations have been impacted severely over the last year,” read the released MEA statement.
Jaishankar’s assertiveness on quick disengagement from other friction points comes in stark contrast to that of his Chinese counterpart. The communist state wants to treat the border dispute as a part of the bilateral ties and wants to actively engage upon it. However, New Delhi is steadfast on its stance that unless and until the border issue is resolved, sitting across the table and charting any development bilateral goals will remain a pipe dream.
“A prolongation of the existing situation was not in the interest of either side. It was, therefore, necessary that the two sides should work towards early resolution of remaining issues. It was necessary to disengage at all friction points in order to contemplate the de-escalation of forces in this sector. That alone will lead to the restoration of peace and tranquillity and provide conditions for progress of our bilateral relationship.” read the press release quoting Jaishankar.
According to a Hindustan Times report, a senior South Block official was quoted as saying, “Normalcy and a border dispute cannot run parallelly as Beijing wants. China has not told India why it attempted to change the status quo at Pangong Tso in May 2020 and why it withdrew 10 months later,”
The first phase of the disengagement which was announced mid-February during the 9th round of Corps Commanders talks held at Moldo border point was completed last Friday. Over 150 Chinese tanks and nearly 5,000 Chinese PLA soldiers had instantly gone back to their settlements within the first 24 hours.
The ball is in China’s court and if it indeed is serious about a truce then the PLA should immediately backpedal and return to its confinements of the LAC or otherwise, the Indian forces would be willing to play the waiting game once again. And we have seen who has come out on top if that has been the proposition.