New Delhi: Launching a scathing attack at China over the near year-long standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that ties between the two countries will inevitably be disturbed if peace in border areas are disturbed. “India-China relationship is at crossroads, choices that are made will have profound repercussions not just for two nations but for the world,” he said addressing the 3rd All India Conference of China Studies. Jaishankar made the remarks in view of the violent face-off in Ladakh last year, followed by the recent firing at Sikkim border. Also Read - After Mumbai Power Blackout, Telangana Faced Cyber Attack Attempt by China | Here's What Happened
“We are yet to receive a credible explanation for the change in China’s stance and massing of troops in border areas,” Jaishankar said. Also Read - From PM Modi to Amit Shah: Top Leaders Who Received Jabs On Day 1 of Stage II COVID Vaccine Drive
“The events in Eastern Ladakh last year have so profoundly disturbed the relationship because they not only signalled a disregard for commitments about minimising troop levels but also showed a willingness to breach peace and tranquillity,” he said. Also Read - Chinese Cyberattack Behind Mumbai's Last Year Power Outage, Report Claims
Comparing the growing bilateral relationship over the past three decades to the standoff faced last year, Jaishankar said that what the Chinese posture signals and how it evolves will define what implications it may have for the future of ties.
“For the last three decades, interactions and exchanges grew steadily in some areas. China became one of our largest trading partners, a significant source of investment, a participant in projects and infrastructure building and a very substantial destination for tourism and education.
“In the years that passed, we obviously did not see significant progress on arriving at a common understanding of the alignment of LAC in India-China border areas. At the same time, there was also increasing construction of border infrastructure, especially on the Chinese side,” he said.
“Agreements already reached must be adhered to in their entirety, both in letter and spirit,” Jaishankar asserted.