Unilateral change of status quo is not acceptable, Jaishankar tells Wang Yi

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The current situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh dominated the meeting between the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Dushanbe. During the meeting, the Indian side clearly told the Chinese side that “unilateral change of status quo is not acceptable” and called for “resolving the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh at the earliest” according to the readout by the ministry of external affairs.

The meet happened after a gap of more than 10 months. Both last met in person on the sidelines of the SCO FMs meet in Moscow in September 2020 in the aftermath of the Galwan incident in which India lost 20 soldiers due to Chinese aggressive actions.

Recalling the February pact between the two countries that led to disengagement at Pangong lake, Jaishankar called for “resolving the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh at the earliest”. While disengagement at Pangong Lake is over, the situation in areas like hots springs and Gogra remains the same.

According to the Indian readout, EAM pointed out to the Chinese State Councillor that the “successful disengagement” in the Pangong Lake Area earlier this year had “created conditions for resolving the remaining issue” and “it was expected that the Chinese side would work with us towards this objective.”

He highlighted that the “situation in remaining areas is still unresolved” and “prolongation of the existing situation was not in the interest of either side” which was “visibly impacting the relationship in a negative manner.”

After the Galwan incident, India had increased scrutiny on Chinese investment and banned a number of Chinese apps. The sentiment in the country has also turned against Beijing, an all-time high– last seen since the 1962 India China war.

During the talks on Wednesday, the focus was also on holding the next round of military talks. Both sides already have had a diplomatic round of talks, known as WMCC or Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination in June.

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