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‘Ignored written pacts’, Jaishankar blames Beijing for tension at LAC

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Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, February 12

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday that the tense situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was due to the disregard of written agreements by China not to amass soldiers at the border and noted that Beijing’s actions had become an issue of “legitimate concern” for the entire international community.

legitimate concern

Beijing’s actions have become an issue of ‘legitimate concern’ for the entire international community. S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister

“The situation at the LAC has arisen due to the disregard by China in 2020 of written agreements with India not to amass forces at the border. So, when a large country disregards written commitments, I think it’s an issue of legitimate concern for the entire international community,” he said in response to a question on the standoff with the PLA on the eastern Ladakh border.

On Friday, Jaishankar met the other three Foreign Ministers of Quad — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japan’s Yoshimasa Hayashi and Australia’s Marise Payne — to expand cooperation on keeping the Indo-Pacific free from “coercion” during which the India-China border standoff was also discussed.

“Yes, we had a discussion on India-China relations because it was part of how we briefed each other about what was happening in our neighbourhood. And it’s an issue in which a lot of countries legitimately take interest, particularly if they are from the Indo-Pacific region,” he said at a joint press conference after a separate meeting with Payne.

“Minister Payne and I also have shared concerns about terrorism and extremism. We have serious concerns about continuing cross-border terrorism, and it’s our shared endeavour to deepen counter-terrorism cooperation, including at the multilateral fora,” he added. On Ukraine, he said India had stated at the United Nations that it believed the way out was through diplomacy. “I’m here primarily to discuss with my colleague the tremendous progress we have made in India-Australia relations. Believe me, that’s mostly what we discussed. And I think what I had to say on Ukraine, I said to you all,” he said.

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