Jaishankar hold talks with Wang Yi in Bali

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This meeting came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he had called the Dalai Lama to wish him on his birthday. Modi’s public articulation of his call to the Dalai Lama – for the second year in a row — comes amid the slide in India-China ties over the military standoff…reports Asian Lite News

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met State Councillor Wang Yi in Bali on Thursday for the G-20 foreign ministers’ meeting amid the ongoing standoff between troops along the India-China border.

“The External Affairs minister called for an early resolution of all the outstanding issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

Jaishankar reiterated that Indo-China relations is “best served by observing the three mutuals — mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests”, the MEA statement added.

Jaishankar said that they focussed on “specific outstanding issues” in the bilateral relationship pertaining to the “border situation”. He added that they also discussed matters including students and flights, and “shared perspectives” on the international situation.

Jaishankar and Wang last met in Delhi during the Chinese Foreign Minister’s visit in March this year.

“Began my day in Bali by meeting FM Wang Yi of China. Discussion lasted one hour. Focused on specific outstanding issues in our bilateral relationship pertaining to the border situation. Also spoke about other matters including students and flights,” Jaishankar tweeted.

“Shared perspectives on the international situation and its impact on the G20 deliberations,” he said.

The MEA statement stated: “The External Affairs minister called for an early resolution of all the outstanding issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. Recalling the disengagement achieved in some friction areas, the External affairs minister reiterated the need to sustain the momentum to complete disengagement from all the remaining areas to restore peace and tranquility in the border areas.”

It added, “He reaffirmed the importance of fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols, and the understandings reached between the two Ministers during their previous conversations. In this regard, both Ministers affirmed that the military and diplomatic officials of the two sides should continue maintaining regular contact and looked forward to the next round of Senior Commanders’ meeting at an early date.”

Jaishankar, the MEA statement said, recalled his meeting with Wang Yi in Delhi in March 2022 and “reviewed the progress of some key issues discussed then, including the return of students”. The External affairs minister stressed the “need for expediting the process and facilitating the return of students on an early date”.

“The two ministers also exchanged perspectives on other regional and global developments,” the statement said, adding that Foreign Minister Wang Yi “appreciated India’s support during China’s BRICS Chairship this year” and “assured China’s support for India’s upcoming G20 and SCO Presidency”.

This meeting came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he had called the Dalai Lama to wish him on his birthday. Modi’s public articulation of his call to the Dalai Lama – for the second year in a row — comes amid the slide in India-China ties over the military standoff.

“Conveyed 87th birthday greetings to His Holiness the @DalaiLama over phone earlier today. We pray for his long life and good health,” Modi tweeted. Last year too, Modi had announced that he had wished the Dalai Lama on his birthday.

The phone calls to the Tibetan spiritual leader and the public announcements have diplomatic significance given that Beijing calls the Dalai Lama a “splittist”. India has maintained that the two sides should be mindful of “mutual sensitivities, interests and concerns”.

The fact that Beijing has not bothered about Indian “sensitivities” — on the India-China border, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, status of Jammu and Kashmir — has led New Delhi to recalibrate its position. It signals that India will not hesitate to subtly dial up the rhetoric.

In recent months, there have been some moves by Beijing to put the relationship back on track — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited India in March this year. But Delhi has maintained that bilateral ties cannot be back on track until the border standoff is resolved.

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