India - China: Jaishankar, Wang Yi meet in Bali
STORIES, ANALYSES, EXPERT VIEWS
On the sidelines of the G-20 foreign ministers’ meeting, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met State Councillor Wang Yi in Bali Thursday. The two last met in Delhi during the Chinese Foreign Minister’s visit in March this year.
The MEA statement stated: “The External Affairs minister called for an early resolution of all the outstanding issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. Recalling the disengagement achieved in some friction areas, the External affairs minister reiterated the need to sustain the momentum to complete disengagement from all the remaining areas to restore peace and tranquility in the border areas.”
It added, “He reaffirmed the importance of fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols, and the understandings reached between the two Ministers during their previous conversations. In this regard, both Ministers affirmed that the military and diplomatic officials of the two sides should continue maintaining regular contact and looked forward to the next round of Senior Commanders’ meeting at an early date.”
Jaishankar, the MEA statement said, recalled his meeting with Wang Yi in Delhi in March 2022 and “reviewed the progress of some key issues discussed then, including the return of students”. The External affairs minister stressed the “need for expediting the process and facilitating the return of students on an early date”.
“The two ministers also exchanged perspectives on other regional and global developments,” the statement said, adding that Foreign Minister Wang Yi “appreciated India’s support during China’s BRICS Chairship this year” and “assured China’s support for India’s upcoming G20 and SCO Presidency”.
The Tibet issue
This meeting came a day after Prime Minister Modi said that he had called the Dalai Lama to wish him on his birthday. Modi’s public articulation of his call to the Dalai Lama – for the second year in a row — comes amid the slide in India-China ties over the military standoff.
The phone calls to the Tibetan spiritual leader and the public announcements have diplomatic significance given that Beijing calls the Dalai Lama a “splittist”. India has maintained that the two sides should be mindful of “mutual sensitivities, interests and concerns”.
According to Shubhajit Roy (Associate Editor & Deputy Chief of National Bureau, Indian Express) “the fact that Beijing has not bothered about Indian ‘sensitivities’ — on the India-China border, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, status of Jammu and Kashmir — has led New Delhi to recalibrate its position. It signals that India will not hesitate to subtly dial up the rhetoric.”