• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

INDIA

‘India prioritises resolving border issues with China’

India and China engaged in a military standoff since July 2020

S Jaishankar assumes charge at the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi. (ANI Photo)

By: Pramod Thomas

INDIA will focus on finding solutions to the border issues with China that has long strained ties between the neighbouring countries, Indian foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday (11) after assuming charge for a second straight term.

India and China share a 3,800 km (2,400 mile) border – much of it poorly demarcated – over which the nuclear-armed nations also fought a war in 1962.

They have engaged in a military standoff since July 2020 when at least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops were killed in the worst clashes in five decades.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi was sworn in on Sunday (9) for a record-equalling third term at a grand ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the president’s palace in New Delhi, attended by leaders of seven regional countries, underlining the government’s “neighbourhood first” policy.

But relations and problems with China and Pakistan were different, Jaishankar told reporters.

“With regards to China there are still some issues at the border and our focus will be on how to solve them,” he said.

India and Pakistan, which is also nuclear-armed, have fought three wars, including two over control of the disputed Kashmir region in the Himalayas.

Relations between them have worsened since a 2019 suicide bombing of an Indian military convoy in Kashmir was traced to Pakistan-based militants, leading New Delhi to carry out an airstrike on what it said was a militant base in Pakistan.

On Monday (10), leaders of the two countries engaged in diplomacy via X. Pakistan’s prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his elder brother and former prime minister Nawaz congratulated Modi, in what was Pakistan’s first response to the election results from across the border.

“With Pakistan, we would want to find a solution to the issue of years-old cross-border terrorism. That cannot be the policy of a good neighbour,” Jaishankar said.

(Reuters)

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