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Jaishankar: China talks ‘confidential’

The external affairs minister said he was not in a position to speak in public about the military and diplomatic-level talks
S Jaishankar

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 16.10.20, 03:36 AM

External affairs minister S. Jaishankar on Thursday said he was not in a position to speak in public about the ongoing discussions with China, for they were confidential and a “work in progress”.

Asked repeatedly about the series of military and diplomatic-level talks since the border standoff began in May, the minister said: “What is going on obviously is something confidential between us and the Chinese.”

He added: “We will wait to see how this plays out; where this will go. Hypothetical, speculative answer --- I wouldn’t give it. And whatever is my thinking, obviously, I will keep it to myself.”

Jaishankar was responding to questions after addressing the Bloomberg India Economic Forum 2020. He refused to say anything more on the talks different from the opaque and often repetitive statements that are put out after every one of these meetings, as is the practice the world over during such negotiations.

The minister, however, did provide his own assessment of the cause behind the tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

“The issue is, really, can a rising China and a rising India find an equilibrium? What you are seeing on the border is an expression of that challenge and the inability to meet that challenge,” he said.

Jaishankar said the Chinese actions along the LAC had disturbed the foundations of the bilateral relationship built over three decades.

He refused to even indicate how the talks were progressing.

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