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Diplomacy

India Will Not Countenance Unilateral Change of Status-Quo at Border, Jaishankar Reiterates

The external affairs minister's remarks were aimed at China, as the two Asian giants are in the midst of a military stand-off in eastern Ladakh for over two years.

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New Delhi: External affairs minister S. Jaishankar reiterated on Tuesday that New Delhi will not accept any attempt to unilateral charge the status quo at the border, even as he praised “trusted partners” for helping to keep India “safe and secure every day”.

Speaking at an event organised by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to mark eight years of the Narendra Modi government, Jaishankar said, “Our borders also need safeguarding and we’ll never accept any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo. A posture that departs from established understandings will evoke its own responses.”

His remarks were aimed at China, as the two Asian giants are in the midst of a military stand-off in eastern Ladakh for over two years. The opposition to any unilateral changes has been a constant reiteration by India throughout the current border dispute with India.

The Indian minister also alluded to India’s security partnership with the West. “When it comes to security, we’ll do what it takes to ensure national well-being. I acknowledge the role of trusted partners who work to help keep India safe and secure every day. We’ve overcome the hesitations of history and won’t allow anyone a veto on our choices,” he said.

The phrase “overcoming the hesitations of history was first used by Prime Minister Modi in relation to India-US ties in his speech at Capitol Hill during his 2016 state visit.

He said India looks forward to taking initiatives on global concerns that are truly consequential. “We look forward to joining Nuclear Suppliers Group overcoming political impediments that are against global interest; taking initiatives on global concerns that are truly consequential. International Solar Alliance that we’ve collated now has 106 members,” said Jaishankar.

India has attempted to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group but has been stymied by opposition from China and a couple of other countries.

“We want to make in India, but make with the world. India has a deep belief in the world being a family and expresses it through greater development. The last eight years have seen a tripling of our lines of credit commitments,” Jaishankar said.

Stating that “India is proof that democracies can deliver”, Jaishankar said the country’s neighbourhood first policy is “clearly associated with a generous and non-reciprocal approach to our immediate proximities”.

He asserted Indian foreign policy has been displaying greater conceptual and operational clarity. 

(With agency inputs)