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No skirmish, matter got resolved: Jaishankar on India-China face-off in Ladakh

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New Delhi | September 17, 2019 6:41:39 PM IST
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said that the recent face-off between Indian troops and their Chinese counterparts in Ladakh was not a skirmish and the incident happened due to differing perceptions of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two sides.

"There was no skirmish. There was a face-off and it was resolved. It happened because there are differing perceptions of LAC. Patrols meet and sometimes that kind of situations happen," Jaishankar addressed a press conference here to mark the 100 days of the External Affairs Ministry in the second term of the Narendra Modi government.

He said that there are proper mechanisms in place to address such situations.

"There are mechanisms to address such situations and in this particular case the mechanism kicked into play and they did address the situation," the minister said.

Ahead of a massive military exercise planned along the China border by India, soldiers of Indian and Chinese armies earlier this month engaged in a face-off near the northern bank of Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh but disengaged after talks between the two sides there.

The Indian Army said that such incidents happen due to differing perceptions of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and there are established mechanisms to resolve such differences.

Incidentally, the confrontation took place in the same area in Ladakh where Indian and Chinese troops had engaged in a bitter scuffle during the Doklam standoff in 2017.

Responding to questions about the delay in the next round of border talks between India and China under the 'Special Representatives' (SR) mechanism, Jaishankar informed that New Delhi had not announced any new dates for the negotiations.

"Often people float dates. For me, date is not a date until MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar says so. You get speculations of various kinds... We don't take a call until we actually take a public call. There was no rescheduling (of the talks)," he said.

Underlining the 'Wuhan spirit', referring to the last April meeting between Modi and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Wuhan, Jaishankar said that the informal interaction between both leaders was much more open and freewheeling.

"We are talking about a very unique meeting between leaders of two important countries to spend two days in a comfortable and open conversation with each other on a range of subjects. A lot of our discussions in the past were very choreographed, formal and with a pre-set agenda. This (Wuhan summit) was much more open and freewheeling and a real value we saw in it," he elaborated.

Jaishankar stressed it is important for India and China to find equilibrium and the bilateral ties post-Wuhan summit should continue to maintain a source of stability in an uncertain world.

"Each one of them has their own expectation of the world and of each other. The principles that underlay in the Wuhan conversation that our relationship should be a source of stability in an uncertain world. Where we have differences, those difference should not become disputes. The commitment to have kinds of those conversations remains strong on both sides," he said. (ANI)

 
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