‘Do not predict what is still going on’: EAM S Jaishankar on ‘confidential’ India-China border talks

Responding to a query at an event, Jaishankar said discussions are on and the points of discussion were confidential.
S Jaishankar
India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday refused to divulge the progress of talks being held at the military and diplomatic level between India and China to end the ongoing border standoff in Ladakh.

Responding to a query at an event, Jaishankar said discussions are on and the points of discussion were confidential.

“What is going on is something confidential between us and the Chinese,” the minister said when asked about the border situation in Ladakh.

“(The) first rule of my business is do not predict what is still going on,” he said further, adding “it is work in progress”.

The remarks came days after India and China held the seventh round of Corps Commander-level talks along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh to resolve the border standoff that started in April-May.

The Indian Army said in a statement on Tuesday that Monday’s talks at Chushul were “sincere, in-depth and constructive”. The talks went on for more than 11 hours after starting at 12 noon.

“On October 12, the seventh round of senior Commanders meeting of India-China was held in Chushul. The two sides had a sincere, in-depth and constructive exchange of views on disengagement along Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of India-China border areas,” the statement read.

It added: “Discussions were positive, constructive and had enhanced understanding of each other’s positions. Both sides agreed to maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels, and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible.”

The statement noted that both sides during the talks agreed to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, not to turn differences into disputes, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian had this week remarked that Beijing does not recognise the “illegally set up” union territory of Ladakh as well as Arunachal Pradesh.

India today hit back and an MEA spokesperson said China has no locus standi to comment on the country’s internal matters.

“Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh have been, are and will remain integral parts of India. Arunachal Pradesh is also an integral part of India, this fact has also been clearly conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions, including at the highest level,” spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

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