New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday apprised his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison about the situation in eastern Ladakh and emphasised that peace and tranquillity in the region is an essential prerequisite for normalisation of India’s ties with China.
It was the second time in the last three days that India asserted that the relationship with China depends on the resolution of the pending issues in eastern Ladakh.
Modi and Morrison held a virtual summit on Monday covering a wide range of issues relating to bilateral cooperation, regional security, developments in the Indo-Pacific and the crisis in Ukraine.
At the 14th India-Japan summit on Saturday, New Delhi conveyed to Tokyo also that its ties with Beijing cannot be business as usual until peace is restored in the eastern Ladakh region.
At a media briefing on Monday, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said both Modi and Morrison exchanged their perspectives on China.
“The prime minister did refer to the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh; the incidents of the previous year and he emphasised that peace and tranquillity in the border areas was an essential prerequisite for normalisation of relations with China,” he said.
He said PM Morrison also gave a fairly detailed perspective of how he saw China and its actions in the region.
Shringla said Morrison spoke especially about the situation in the South China Sea region.
India and China have been engaged in talks to resolve the festering row in eastern Ladakh.
On March 11, the two countries held the 15th round of high-level military dialogue to resolve the pending issues in the eastern Ladakh region but it did not produce any tangible outcome.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.
Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and the Gogra area.
Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the sensitive sector.
On the South China Sea, India has also been pitching for the resolution of pending disputes under the framework of international law.
China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons.
However, several ASEAN member countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei, have counterclaims. PTI