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Challenge to manage relation with China ranks high, says EAM Jaishankar

 

 India's external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar has said in the backdrop of last year's line of actual control (LAC) clashes that managing "relation with China ranks very high" because "there has been complete departure from norm."

Last year saw a massive build up by the Chinese at the Line of actual control in Eastern Ladakh, which was followed by June clashes in Galwan due to aggressive action by People's liberation army. India lost 20 of its soldiers in clash, while China accepted 4 deaths.

The Indian foreign minister pointed how China didn't follow the series of treaties in 1990s that called for peace and tranquility at the border and, "there was a large Chinese military presence in very operational mode which was brought to the border without a good reason". He explained once India "countered (it) that it led to a very serious clash last June, in which lot of lives were lost" and "taken the relation in completely different direction".

This year saw disengagement at Pangong lake and Gogra at the LAC, while areas such as hot springs and Depsang plains still need to be resolved. Number of conversations have happened both diplomatically and at military level to achieve disengagement. The comments come even as plans are afoot for the first ever Quad--India, US, Japan and Australia leaders level meet later this month in Washington. 

On the grouping, EAM said, "The fact is that the days of unilateralism are over, bilateralism has its own limits, and as the Covid reminded us, multilateralism is simply not working well enough. The resistance to reforming international organizations compel us to look for more practical and immediate solutions. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the case for the Quad.".

The first Quad leaders level meeting happened in March, virtually. The key outcome was Quad covid vaccine initiative, under which vaccines will be produced in India for wider Indo Pacific region.

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