Relationship with China not normal: ministry of external affairs

Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in an over three-and-a-half-year confrontation at certain friction points in eastern Ladakh

File photo of Indian and Chinese soldiers
File photo of Indian and Chinese soldiers
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PTI

India on Thursday once again said its relationship with China is "not normal" and that both sides are engaged in diplomatic and military talks to resolve the pending issues in eastern Ladakh.

Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in an over three-and-a-half-year confrontation at certain friction points in eastern Ladakh, even as the two sides completed disengagement from several areas following extensive diplomatic and military talks.

"Our position on China is very well known. It is a relationship which is not normal but we have had dialogues both on the military side as well as on the diplomatic side," external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said.

His comments at a media briefing came in response to a question on the situation in eastern Ladakh. Jaiswal also referred to the last rounds of military and diplomatic talks between the two sides in October and November 2023 respectively. "The idea is that we engage so that we can have some sort of resolution," he said.

At the military talks on 9 and 10 October, the two sides exchanged views in an "open and constructive manner" for an early and mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector, the military term for eastern Ladakh.

On the diplomatic talks that were held on 30 November, Jaiswal said both sides had an "in-depth and constructive discussion" and looked at proposals to resolve remaining issues and achieve complete disengagement in eastern Ladakh. India has been maintaining that its ties with China cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border areas.

The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on 5 May 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area. Relations between the two countries nosedived significantly following the fierce clashed in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, marking the most serious military conflict between the two sides in decades.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in 2021 on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.

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