Larger issue is whether India, China can build relationship based on mutual sensitivity, respect: Jaishankar

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that Beijing not observing agreements has led to the disturbance of the foundation of India-China ties.

“I would say for the last 40 years we had a very stable relation with Beijing. China emerged as the second-largest trade partner. But for the last one year, there has been a lot of concern about the relationship because China has not observed agreements that it had signed up to when it came to our border,” the minister said in response to a question on China-India relations at the Primakov Institute of World Economy & International Relations in Moscow.

Jaishankar arrived in Moscow for a three-day visit and is expected to hold bilateral talks with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov later in the day. The leaders will discuss bilateral issues and the deteriorating Afghan situation following the US departure of US troops. 

On a question on the possibility of nuclear arms race between the two countries, Jaishankar dismissed it saying the evolution of the Chinese nuclear program has a much larger dynamic than India. “I don’t believe there is a nuclear arms race between India and China. China became a nuclear power in 1964, India in 1998.”

On relations with Russia, Jaishankar said that there is no doubt that relations between the two countries was among the steadiest of the major relationships in the world after the Second World War.  “Russians will surely recall the ups and downs in their ties with the United States, Europe, China or Japan, or for that matter, Turkey and Iran. On their part, objective Indians would also recognize that this was the case with them as well,” he said.

“Where the India-Russia bilateral ties are concerned, there have been changes — even issues — from time to time.  The paradox though is that precisely because it has held so steady, this relationship is sometimes taken for granted. The case for its constant nurturing is therefore as powerful, if not more, than with the more volatile ones.”

India, Iran discuss situation in AfghanistanJaishankar discussed the Afghanistan situation with the Iranian leadership during a stopover in Tehran en route Moscow. “The two sides exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest. They also discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan… Both sides discussed joint connectivity initiatives in the region including Chabahar,” the MEA said.