External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Saturday described the ongoing process of “dis-engagement and de-escalation” between Indian and Chinese troops in the Ladakh sector at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as “very much a work in progress”. He was speaking during a Virtual (online) interview in the context of the India Global Week conference organised in London.
The comments indicate how keenly and closely New Delhi is monitoring the situation, in the wake of the recent military tensions with Beijing and large number of deployment of troops of both sides in the region.
Sounding a warning note on the raging coronavirus pandemic, he also said that “existing political trends will accelerate” in a post-Covid world (with) more nationalism, increasing trust deficit and stress on supply chains.”
On the situation on the border with China, EAM Jaishankar said, “We’ve agreed on the need to disengage because troops on both sides are deployed very close to each other. So there is a dis-engagement and de-escalation sort of process agreed upon. It’s just commenced. It’s very much work in progress. At this point, I really wouldn’t like to say more on it.”
Commenting on India’s relationship with the United States, the EAM described it as a relationship that took six decades to find itself but is now making up for the lost time. He said he would expect it to become important even in the American calculus of the world. The remarks clearly show how important India sees its relationship with the US.
Referring to bilateral ties with Australia, the EAM said there were strong structural and policy reasons for increasing India-Australia engagement (and) growing economic relationship, expanding cooperation in creating a more stable and secure region.
On Britain’s exit from the EU popularly known as Brexit, the EAM said that India’s strategic calculation in a post-Brexit United Kingdom (UK) would take into account the whole spectrum of ‘multiple Uks’: The European UK, the transatlantic UK, the historical UK, the diaspora UK, the city of London UK and the innovative UK.