Continuing “close up deployments” and questions about whether China would “live up to its written commitments” on not deploying a large number of forces were two issues at the heart of the recent tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has said.
The Minister was speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday, where he was asked about the boundary situation. The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday reacted sharply to a question on his comments, telling reporters that China’s deployments were “aimed at preventing and responding to encroachment and threat on China’s territory by relevant country”.
The comments from both sides underlined the continuing tensions, and stalemate, along the LAC, with military-level talks failing to make headway following an agreement to disengage at Pangong Lake in February. Talks on continuing stand-offs have been slow-moving, with unresolved issues in Depsang, Demchok, Gogra and Hot Springs areas in Ladakh.
Asked about what role the Quad — the informal India, U.S., Australia, Japan grouping — grouping could play in India’s response to the border situation, Mr. Jaishankar said, “I think when it comes to Quad and the India-China border issue, we’re talking apples and oranges. I’m not quite sure I’d really see a tight connection.”