Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said before visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today that India’s relations with China have taken an unexpected turn in the past two years. “Little would have expected the turnaround India’s relations with China have taken over the past two years,” Mr Jaishankar said during St Stephen’s Distinguished Alumni Annual Lecture.
The reference was to the downturn in relations following several invasions in China over the line of real control in Ladakh, which led to the clash in Galwan, in which 20 Indians and several Chinese soldiers died.
Although Mr Jaishankar and Wang Yi have had several meetings over the past two years, this will be the first high-level Chinese visit in two years.
Explaining the role of foreign policy in problem-solving the outcome of India’s “undetermined borders”, Mr Jaishankar called it the “first line of defense”.
In the case of China, “the diplomatic interactions that have been going on in parallel with the military struggle since May 2020 illustrate the merging of foreign and defense policies at the hip,” he added.
“Any prudent policy supports its stance with capabilities and deterrents. Indian diplomacy creates the widest set of options for such contingencies. It could mean acquiring defensive capabilities,” he added.
Wang Yi’s visit comes amid a new controversy over his statement about Kashmir at a program in Pakistan. New Delhi rejected the remarks, calling them “unsolicited” and underlining that Jammu and Kashmir are an internal matter of India and both Pakistan and China know this.
The Chinese minister’s visit comes just a day after India rejected the “unannounced reference” to Kashmir during his speech at a function in Pakistan.
“Issues related to the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir are entirely the home affairs of India. Other countries, including China, have no locus standi to comment. They should note that India refrains from public judgment. about their internal issues, “said ministry spokeswoman Arindam Bagchi. told reporters yesterday.