Foreign Secretary Harsha Vardhan Shringla on Thursday termed the ongoing border tension with China as "unprecedented situation" and said that India remains firmly committed to preserving its territorial integrity and sovereignty.
"It is an unprecedented situation; we have never had this kind of situation since 1962. We have lost for the first time, lives of soldiers which has not happened in the last 40 years," Shringla said while speaking at the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA) webinar on India-China border issue.
The Foreign Secretary stressed that there will be no compromise in our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"As far as we are concerned, there will be no compromise in our sovereignty & territorial integrity. At the same time, as a responsible nation, we are always willing to talk. Our communication lines are open," he said.
The Foreign Secretary said that it cannot be business as usual unless there is peace in the border areas.
"Our businesses can''t go as usual, unless there''s peace in our border areas. Normal bilateral relationship will be affected. There is a linkage between what''s happening on the border and in our larger relationship. It is evident," he said.
Taking a jibe at Pakistan without mentioning the name, the Foreign Secretary said: "One of our neighbours has been consistently involved in blocking South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in all of its constructive activities."
Talking about the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Shringla said it did not seem to be in our interest.
"When we seek FTAs (Free Trade Agreements), we engage if it suits our national interest and RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) did not seem to be in our interest," Shringla said while virtually addressing the Indian Council of World Affairs.
"We have catalysed the emergence of international organisations with constructive forward-looking agenda. Our effort to shape global thinking & project our perspective has continued throughout the COVID19 pandemic," Shringla said at ICWA webinar.
Asserting that India has been a constructive actor in shaping up of people-centric international order, the Foreign Secretary said: "We have undertaken humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief ops well beyond our immediate neighbourhood." (ANI)