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China India ties will not go forward unless border tensions in Ladakh are resolved

India, China hold crucial 15th Round Of Corps Commander talks (Pic credit: Twitter)

Amid geopolitical tensions threatening global economic recovery China underlined that Beijing and New Delhi must promote cooperation and mutual trust among each other. The current Russia-Ukraine crisis has only prompted several countries in Asia to start looking at measures and recharter trade mechanisms to boost economic recovery.

But insiders point out that India-China ties cannot progress meaningfully unless Beijing ends its incursion across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh and restores the status quo ante prior to the movement of its forces across the LAC in May 2020.

Unfortunately, the 15th round of India China Corps Commander level talks failed to provide any breakthrough. But the Beijing based news organisation Global Times did try to put a positive gloss on the talks, pointing out that the meeting concluded highlighting the positive atmosphere since the 14th round of talk, “as the two sides reached consensus on agreeing to maintain dialogue via military and diplomatic channels to reach a mutually acceptable resolution to the remaining issues at the earliest time.”

Also read: Key multinationals including French energy giant Total wary of exiting Russia

However, in India, policy makers are looking not at words but at action on the ground marked by disengagement from the border and restoration of the status quo ante as the basis for reviving ties and leveraging the new geopolitical situation arising out of Russia's attack on Ukraine.

A joint statement issued on Saturday said that talks would continue between the two sides to reach a mutually agreed resolution that would help in restoring peace along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) while boosting bilateral relations.

Just ahead of the much-awaited talks, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a press briefing that the two countries should not allow territorial disputes “to affect the overall interests of bilateral cooperation,” the newspaper said in another report.

"China-India relations have suffered some setbacks in recent years, which does not serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples," it quoted Wang as saying.

Despite the heightened border tensions, bilateral trade between the two countries crossed a record $125.6 billion in 2021. In 2001, it was just $1.83 billion. However, the distrust between the two countries is evident as India has shut out Chinese companies in the lucrative 5G market. Besides, many Chinese apps have been shown the door following the border tensions.

As the Russia-Ukraine conflict intensified, the US and countries in the European Union are closely monitoring developments in this region. India and China together account for about 36 per cent of the world population.

Also read: Surge in crude oil prices due to Ukraine war hits global economy

Interestingly, India along with China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan among several others in Asia as well as Africa have been on the same page in relation to the Russia-Ukraine issue. The BRICS bloc comprising India, China, Brazil, and South Africa besides Russia has also taken a similar stand towards the ongoing conflict.

“We have taken a pragmatic view of the India China border issue as well..economic and trade related activities have not been dented and there has been no disruption of the supply chain network, there were issues during the first wave of Covid 19 but that had nothing to do with the border issue,” an insider told India Narrative. But focused on the disengagement on the border, the insider said that the ball is in China's court for the new emerging post-Ukraine correlation to go forward.