India, China Foreign Ministers Discuss Ukraine, Border Issue

India and China discussed Ukraine crisis and their own border standoff during an unannounced visit by Chinese Foreign Minister.

India, China Foreign Ministers Discuss Ukraine, Border Issue
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for delegation-level talks. (Source: ANI)

India and China discussed Russia’s war in Ukraine and their own border standoff during an unannounced visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the first since tensions erupted between the neighbors two years ago. 

Ties between New Delhi and Beijing haven’t returned to normal yet and will continue to be disturbed as long as troops remain deployed along their shared Himalayan border, India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told reporters Friday. “I would describe our current situation as work in progress.” 

The threat of bloody hostilities between the nuclear-armed neighbors, like the one witnessed in 2020, remains as military commanders from both sides have made only marginal progress in several meetings over the past two years. Soldiers remain deployed toe-to-toe in several locations as troop pullback has been limited to just three friction points along the border.

Beijing is willing to explore more cooperation with India in South Asia, Wang told India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, according to a statement on the website of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Both sides should keep their differences on border issues “at an appropriate place” and stick to the right development path, Wang said.

Both nations have mobilized thousands of soldiers, artillery guns, tanks and fighter jets to the border since the dispute began. Relations between the two countries have been frigid since the summer of 2020 when skirmishes first started.

India and China have taken a common position toward Russia’s attack on its neighbor, calling for peace while abstaining from a vote on a United Nations draft resolution calling on Vladimir Putin to withdraw forces from Ukraine.

“Both China and India agreed on the need for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and resolution through diplomacy,” Jaishankar said. 

Wang invited India to participate in the next meeting of the BRICS grouping, which also includes Brazil, Russia and South Africa, Jaishankar said. No date has been set for that meeting.

“I think Wang Yi is in India to try to create some diplomatic space for China because they’re feeling the pressure from the West,” Tanvi Madan, director of The India Project at the Brookings Institution told Bloomberg TV.

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