Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said trust with China was deeply damaged after last year’s deadly border shock.
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said trust with China was severely damaged after last summer’s border shock, which claimed the first combat deaths in 45 years.
Ties with the United States, on the other hand, were converging and were likely to expand under the new administration in Washington, the top Indian diplomat told Reuters Next on Tuesday.
Tensions with China erupted in June last year, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in brutal hand-to-hand combat, while China suffered an unknown number of casualties in the clash over a section. controversial border in the western Himalayas.
Both sides have deployed massively in the disputed area, and the escalation poses the most serious military crisis between the nuclear-weapon neighbors in decades.
“After 45 years, you actually shed blood at the border. And it had a huge impact on public opinion and politically … really the impact of trust in India regarding China and their relationship. It has been deeply disturbed, ”Jaishankar said.
The two countries waged a border war in 1962, but until last summer they had largely contained tensions along the line of effective control, the de facto border, while expanding trade ties.
“Last year, for reasons that are not clear to us, the Chinese really brought a huge military force to part of the border. And then at the real line of control, obviously we progressed when we saw them coming and it kind of created friction points along the real line of control, ”Jaishankar said.
Several rounds of military and diplomatic negotiations took place but there was no withdrawal of frontline forces. India expects the talks to reach an amicable solution, Indian army chief Manoj Mukund Narvane said on Tuesday.
Ties between India and the United States under Biden
Jaishankar said relations with the United States were in full swing and that he was confident in his leadership under the new Biden administration.
“When I look at many of the challenges we face, the United States is going to be much more open to finding partners and I am confident about the direction we will take in the relationship,” he said.
India has forged a close defense relationship with Washington, purchasing more than $ 20 billion in weapons over the past 15 years as it diversifies away from Russia’s traditional supplier.
Along with its U.S. allies, Japan and Australia, it has participated in naval exercises in the Indian Ocean which security analysts say are part of attempts to balance China’s assertive actions in the region.
“Structurally, the relationship with the United States is very, very strong. It has very unique elements. There is political convergence, increasing convergence in security and defense, ”Jaishankar said.
When it comes to trade, the two countries have gotten bogged down in details and lost “the wood of the trees,” he said. Negotiators have been working on a mini trade pact for months without making progress.
Jaishankar said India would respond positively to any offer or invitation from the Biden administration to resume some sort of free trade negotiations.