Chinese, Indian foreign ministers discuss border peace at G20 | News
Relations between New Delhi and Beijing have been strained since a deadly conflict on their border in 2020.
The foreign ministers of India and China have met on the sidelines of the Group of 20 meeting in New Delhi, marking a decline in their relationship, which has been strained since 2020.
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said the talks with his Chinese counterpart, Qin Gang, “were aimed at addressing current challenges in bilateral relations, especially peace and tranquility in the border areas”.
“There are serious problems in that relationship that need to be looked at, that need to be discussed openly and frankly between us,” Jaishankar told reporters on Thursday. “That’s what we wanted to do today.”
Qin, who is in India for a meeting of G20 foreign ministers, met Jaishankar a day after Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning said, “China is putting a lot of pressure on India.
She said that maintaining good relations between the two neighbors is fundamental to their interests.
Relations between New Delhi and Beijing have deteriorated since 2020 when fighting broke out between Indian and Chinese troops on their border in the Ladakh region. Twenty Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed.
Both sides accused each other of infiltrating across the clearly marked de facto border known as the Line of Actual Control. Pangong Lake, which is 4,270 meters (14,000 feet) above sea level in Ladakh, has been one of the flash points.
The standoff began in May 2020 when a scuffle broke out between Indian and Chinese soldiers at the lake, resulting in 11 soldiers on both sides being injured.
Tensions escalated a month later when 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese soldiers were killed in hand-to-hand combat on June 15, 2020 – the worst fighting between the two forces in decades.
The standoff has continued despite 17 rounds of talks between the Indian and Chinese military chiefs.
Since 2020, China has been building dozens of large weatherproof structures along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh as barracks for its soldiers to live in during the winter. Indian media have also reported new helipads, expanded airfields, new surface-to-air missile sites and radar locations.
In February last year, India and China withdrew troops from some areas on the northern and southern banks of Pangong Lake, in Gogra and in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh. Both sides, however, continue to maintain additional forces in the area.
India claims that China occupies 38,000 square kilometers (15,000 square miles) of the Aksai Chin Plateau which India considers part of Ladakh.
India and China fought a war over the border in 1962.