New Delhi: The continuing stand-off at the Line of Actual was discussed at the first meeting between Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar and his new Chinese counterpart Qin Gang on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting.
Since May 2020, Indian and Chinese troops have been in a stand-off at multiple points in eastern Ladakh, which resulted in the first fatalities at the border. There have been several rounds of military and diplomatic talks that resulted in disengagement at four points through the creation of buffer zones.
However, the Chinese are reluctant to accept that the two remaining points of stand-off at Demchok and Depsang are part of the current border crisis, which has resulted in a stalemate.
This is the second visit by a Chinese foreign minister to India since the stand-off began. Last year, Wang Yi had travelled to New Delhi, but the visit had not resulted in a major breakthrough.
Qin Gang, a career diplomat and Beijing’s ambassador to the United States, was appointed to the post of foreign minister in January this year. He replaced Wang Yi who was promoted to the politburo of the Chinese foreign ministry.
Announcing the meeting on Twitter, Jaishankar said that their discussions “were focused on addressing current challenges to the bilateral relationship, especially peace and tranquillity in the border areas”.
Met Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on sidelines of #G20FMM this afternoon.
Our discussions were focused on addressing current challenges to the bilateral relationship, especially peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
We also spoke about the G20 agenda. pic.twitter.com/omGsuuznba
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) March 2, 2023
The bilateral meeting took place at Rashtrapati Bhawan where foreign ministers from around the world were gathered to take part in the G20 ministerial meet.