External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

It Has Never Been An Easy Relationship: Jaishankar On China

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday (local time) highlighted India-China relations that have gone through cycles of conflict and cooperation over nearly 75 years and said that the relationship between the two nations has not been easy.

“I was the ambassador in 2009, right after the global financial crisis, till 2013. I saw the change of guard in China, and then I came to the US. It has never been an easy relationship. It always had its share of problems,” Jaishankar said at the ‘Discussion at Council on Foreign Relations’ in New York.

He said that despite the history of war and military incidents, there hasn’t been a military or combat fatality on the border since 1975.

“It had a war in 1962, it had military incidents after that. But after 1975, there’s never been a military, a combat fatality on the border,” added Jaisahnakr.

However, calling it one of the ‘pleasures’ to deal with China, Jaishankar said that there is always certain ambiguity as the Chinese never actually tell the reason behind their actions.  

“One of the pleasures of dealing with China is that they never quite tell you why they do things, so you often end up trying to figure it out. There is always certain ambiguity, said Jaishnakar”.

The EAM further said that the Indo-China relationship has never been an easy one and has always had its share of problems.

India and China’s strained relationship has been fueled by recent Chinese provocations, including releasing the 2023 edition of its “standard map”, staking a claim over Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin region and denial of visas to Indian athletes in the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Jaishankar also said that today India is one of the few countries that has the ability to bridge the sharp East-West polarisation and North-South divide.

“One of the contradictions and it was very visible at the G20. You have a much sharper East-West polarization, whose immediate, but not only cause is the conflict in Ukraine. You have particularly because of Covid, but not only because of Covid, a very deep North-South divide. And I would say we are one of the few countries, who have the ability to actually bridge both these issues,” he said.

He further emphasised the number of groupings and blocs that India has become a part of lately.

“It’s interesting if you look at the last decade. We have become members of more organizations. QUAD, after 2008 was revived in 2017. It’s been upgraded steadily, it has become at the level of President in 2021,” the EAM said.

He added, “The most recent is the India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor. We have a grouping called the I2U2, which involves India, Israel, the US and the UAE. We joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. We have a few more organisations of a more local proximate nature”. (ANI)

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