Border Clashes Put India-China Ties Under ‘Exceptional Stress’
Indian Army solders in a jeep perform an operation demonstration. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg) 

Border Clashes Put India-China Ties Under ‘Exceptional Stress’

India’s foreign minister signaled a hardening of New Delhi’s stance toward China and said ties between the two nations were under “exceptional stress” amid deadlocked peace talks to resolve a deadly border conflict.

“The India-China relationship is today truly at a crossroad,” Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said Thursday in a virtual address to the 13th All India Conference of Chinese Studies. “Choices that are made will have profound repercussions, not just for the two nations, but for the entire world.”

“We are yet to receive a credible explanation for change in China’s stance and massing of troops in border areas,” he said. “Peace and tranquility at border areas is the basis for the development of relations in other domains -- if they are disturbed, so inevitably will the rest of the relationship.”

Jaishankar listed eight conditions including adhering to border agreements, recognizing development aspirations and managing divergence between the sparring neighbors, as a basis for the future.

India and China have been engaged in their worst conflict at their disputed Himalayan borders in four decades since May last year. On Monday the two sides said they had agreed to push for an early disengagement of frontline troops, after soldiers once again clashed along the frontier in the first outbreak of violence in the area in seven months.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing in Beijing on Monday that China’s border troops are committed to upholding peace and tranquility along the border with India. “We urge the Indian side to work in the same direction with us and refrain from actions that might escalate or complicate the situation along the border.”

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