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MEA: India-China border infrastructure gap significant, consequential

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday outlined eight broad principles and three “mutuals” to mend strained ties between India and China, and said the two countries are truly at crossroads and their choices will have profound repercussions, not just for them but for the entire world.

Addressing an online conference organised by the Institute of Chinese Studies, Jaishankar said the developments in eastern Ladakh last year brought the relationship under “exceptional stress” and India is yet to receive a credible explanation for the change in China’s stance or reasons for amassing troops in border areas.

The two countries are locked in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 5, 2020.

The eight principles listed by Jaishankar to take bilateral ties forward include strict adherence to all agreements on border management, fully respecting the Line of Actual Control (LAC), making peace and tranquility along the frontier the basis for overall ties, recognising that a multipolar Asia is an essential constituent of a multipolar world, and managing differences effectively.

He mentioned the three “mutuals” as mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests and described them as determining factors for the ties. He noted that as rising powers, each country will have its own set of aspirations, and their pursuit cannot be ignored.

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