New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said that he did not have a clear answer on Sino-Indian relations though they “were at crossroads” at this point of time.
We had the border conflict of 1962 and it took us 26 years to have a prime minister visit China, when Rajiv Gandhi went there in 1988. And there was a 1988 consensus, which is stabilising the border. So if you look at the first decade of the relationship, it was focussed on that, he said at the second event of the series “India’s Place in the World”, a collaboration between The Indian Express and Financial Times where senior policy leaders spoke on India’s diplomatic position in the new world order and its evolving ties with the United States and China.
Jaishankar said there were two very important agreements in 1993 and 1996, which have led to another 30 years of peace and tranquillity in the border areas. Those agreements stipulated that you would not bring on large armed forces to the border and that the Line of Actual Control (LAC) will be respected.
“Now, what we saw last year was, frankly, China departing from the 1988 consensus. Now, if you disturb peace and tranquillity, if there is intimidation and friction at the border, obviously it’s going to tell on the relationship. So, my honest answer to you is that I think the relationship is at a crossroads. The border tensions cannot continue with cooperation in other areas,” he said.