Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday that after the border dispute last summer, which resulted in the first loss of life in 45 years, confidence with China was seriously impaired.
At the bitterly disputed frontier in the western Himalayas, the most significant military crisis between nuclear-armed neighbours for decades, the troops remain stuck in a stand-off.
“You finally had bloodshed on the frontier after 45 years. And it has had a profound effect on public opinion and politics[…] The true impact of faith and trust in India, where China and its partnerships are concerned. That was highly confused, Jaishankar, speaking from New Delhi, told the Reuters Next meeting.
Separately, during a press conversation today, the Indian army chief said that he wanted talks to lead to a friendly solution to the border dispute with China.
Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane said Indian and Chinese troops were holding their positions, while on the neighbouring Tibetan plateau, Chinese troops had pulled back from some training areas.
If the talks are extended, so be it,” he told reporters in an annual briefing on the situation in the northern tip of the country in India’s Ladakh region.
In order to pursue our national priorities and interests, we are prepared to keep our ground where we are, for as long as it takes.
In deflating tensions over the contested border, multiple rounds of talks have so far made no headway. He expected another round of talks shortly, Naravane said.
Indian and Chinese troops remain caught up in a high-altitude standoff along the Ladakh frontier, where soldiers clashed last June in violent hand-to-hand combat.
Since then, both sides have said that they are looking to find solutions to de-escalate the border crisis, but negotiations have made no progress and over the cold winter months, both sides have kept a strong military deployment.
Last month, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that several rounds of diplomatic and military talks aimed at de-escalating the conflict had “no meaningful outcome.”
“If the status quo continues, it is clear that the deployment will not fall,” said Singh during an interview with ANI, a Reuters affiliate.
Although, he added, the two sides were already exchanging messages about the situation at the border and there was another round of military talks in the offing.