On Thursday Beijing said, “the responsibility totally lies with the Indian side” to ensure tensions are reduced along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar claimed China had violated border agreements by reinforcing the area with more troops. Mr Jaishankar said China had given India “five differing explanations” for the huge increase of forces at the LAC.
About Beijing’s move, Mr Jaishankar told the Sydney-based Lowy Institute on Wednesday that, “we are today probably at the most difficult phase of our relationship with China in the last 30 to 40 years or you could argue even more.”
Speaking to the think tank, he added that “the relationship this year has been very significantly damaged”.
He also stated: “Now for some reason, for which the Chinese have to date given us five differing explanations, the Chinese have violated it.
“The Chinese have literally brought tens of thousands of soldiers in full military preparation mode right to the LAC in Ladakh.
“Naturally the relationship would be profoundly disturbed by this.”
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying responded to claims of increased troops at the border by saying “the merits of the situation” were “very clear”.
The foreign minister added: “China and India are neighbours and the world’s two biggest emerging markets and keeping good relations serves the fundamental interests of both countries and its people but it requires common efforts from both sides.
“The merits of the situation at the border area are very clear and the responsibility totally lies with the Indian side.
“So on the Indian side, I think this is a serious question on what it should reflect upon.”
However, Mr Jaishankar said: “We are very clear that maintaining peace and tranquillity along the LAC is the basis for the rest of the relationship to progress.
“You can’t have the kind of situation you have on the border and say let’s carry on with life in all other sectors of activity.
“It’s just unrealistic.”