The situation along the LAC, India’s de-facto border, in the Western Sector of the India-China boundary since 2020 had eroded strategic trust and the public and political basis of the relationship between the two countries, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval told top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi while discussing bilateral ties on the sidelines of the Friends of BRICS meeting in South Africa’s Johannesburg on Monday, sources said.
Wang Yi is a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Political Bureau and Director of the Office of the CPC Foreign Affairs Commission. He and Mr Doval are their country’s special representatives on boundary talks. The last special representative-level talks between India and China on the boundary happened in 2019.
NSA Doval emphasized the importance of continuing efforts to fully resolve the situation and restore peace and tranquility in the border areas, so as to remove impediments to normalcy in bilateral relations, sources said.
Wang Yi said the two sides should enhance strategic mutual trust, focus on consensus and cooperation, overcome obstacles, and bring bilateral relations back on track of sound and stable development as soon as possible, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported. He also reportedly stressed that China will never seek hegemony, and stands ready to work with developing countries, including India, to support multilateralism and the democratization of international relations, and promote the more just and equitable development of international order.
The two sides agreed that the India-China bilateral relationship is significant not only for the two countries, but also for the region, and the world.
The meeting came days after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Mr Wang in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, and discussed outstanding issues relating to peace and tranquility in border areas.
India has been locked in a military standoff with China for more than three years, with Mr Jaishankar describing it to be the most complex challenge in his long diplomatic career.
India has maintained that the bilateral relationship cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border area.
Earlier on Monday, Ajit Doval called for collective efforts to deal with challenges emanating from cybersecurity at the Friends of BRICS meeting. The NSA also held several bilaterals with its counterparts from and Friends of BRICS countries.
South Africa is hosting the BRICS Summit next month.
BRICS is a grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.