Ties abnormal, EAM tells Chinese FM : The Tribune India

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Ties abnormal, EAM tells Chinese FM

‘Real problems in relationship that need to be taken up’

New Delhi, March 2

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar described the Sino-Indian ties as “abnormal” in his first meeting with new Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on the margins of the G20 ministerial meeting.

The bulk of the conversation was about the challenges in bilateral ties, especially for restoring peace and tranquillity in the border areas, Jaishankar told the media after the meeting. Qin became the Foreign Minister in December and the talks were held eight months after Jaishankar last met then Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

“It’s our first meeting after he took over as Foreign Minister. We spent maybe about 45 minutes talking to each other… about the current state of our relationship, which many of you heard me describe as “abnormal” and I think those were among the adjectives I used in that meeting,” Jaishankar said.

He said there were real problems in the relationship that needed to be looked at, “that need to be discussed very openly and candidly between us”. “That’s what we sought to do today. We also had a brief discussion on what was happening in the G20 framework,” Jaishankar said. Earlier on Thursday, Jaishankar also met his US counterpart Antony Blinken. “They spoke about shared efforts to elevate and expand strategic technology and defence industrial cooperation, counternarcotics cooperation and women’s economic empowerment. They also discussed how to mitigate the global impact of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, the US-India cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, the successful launch of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology, and regional issues,” said a US readout.

Meanwhile, amidst the flurry of bilateral meetings one that stood out was the brief 10-minute interaction between Blinken and the Russian Foreign Minister. The US side said Blinken said the US would support Ukraine in the conflict for as long as it took to bring the war to an end, and Russia should reverse its decision to suspend participation in the New START nuclear treaty and that Moscow should release detained American Paul Whelan.

At a separate press conference, Lavrov appreciated PM Modi for a “balanced and responsible position as President of G20”. “He was not just speaking of an isolated individual situation but gave an assessment of the situation across the globe. We completely share his assessment,” he said. Lavrov said Russia had never refused to listen to serious suggestions to find a political solution but pointed out that Ukraine was being encouraged to continue with the war. — TNS

Commander-level talks likely soon

India and China are set to hold their next round of military commander-level talks, the 18th round since June 2020, in two weeks or so

Lavrov, Blinken meet briefly on G20 sidelines

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