New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said he is “totally convinced” that a solution to the India-China border row has to be found in the domain of diplomacy.
Asserting that he was not underplaying the seriousness of the current situation or the challenges of the boundary question, he said it was vital for both the countries to reach an “accommodation” not just for themselves, but the world has a lot riding on it.
“I am also conscious that you have the situation that we have in border areas of the western sector (across Ladakh). Because we have the long (term) view, our position there has been very clear–we have agreements and understandings with China. The agreements and understandings must be scrupulously observed by both parties,” Jaishankar said at an online event for the launch of his book.
“The reality is what happens at the border will impact the relationship, you cannot separate it.”
“I made this point a few days earlier in another context, I would say that I am totally convinced that the solution to the situation has to be found in the domain of diplomacy. And I say that with responsibility,” he said.
Asserting that this is not the easiest of times in India-China relationship, Jaishankar pointed out that he had written the book ‘The India Way: Strategies For An Uncertain World’ before the Galwan Valley clashes broke out on June 15 in which 20 Indian army personnel were killed.
He also said India and China were two civilisational states which are going to enter the fourth industrial revolution when most other big civilisations did not make it.
Asked about the upcoming virtual BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting, Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting and a proposed Quad grouping meet, he said the Quad meeting was under discussion and a decision had not been taken on the timing and where it would be held.
When asked what he would say to his Chinese counterpart when he meets him at one of the meetings, Jaishankar replied: “As to what I will be talking to my Chinese colleague when I meet him. We have known each other a long time so you can have a reasonable guess.”
On the various multilaterals India is set to participate, Jaishankar said one is looking at a multipolar world and one has to come to terms with the changing world and not make it a “zero sum game”.
The changed approach of the US on multilateralism and alliances as well as the rise of China are the two overarching events impacting world politics, Jaishankar said.
At an event hosted by the Observer Research Foundation to launch his book, Jaishankar said he wrote it to put out the “big picture” and to explain the drastic changes that have taken place in the world.