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China disregarded border agreements, says Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at the unveiling ceremony of a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Asuncion (Image courtesy: Twitter/DrSJaishankar)

Continuing with his plain-speak on India-China relations and the border standoff in Eastern Ladakh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has once again asserted that the relationship between the two neighbours cannot be a one-way street and mutual respect has to be there in order to sustain it.

“We have agreements with China going back to the 1990s which prohibits bringing mass troops in the border area. They have disregarded that. You know what happened in the Galwan valley. That problem has not been resolved and that has been clearly casting a shadow,” the EAM at an interaction with the Indian community in Brazil’s Sao Paulo.

Brazil was Jaishankar’s first stop on a six-day visit to South America. He has now reached Paraguay and will visit Argentina next to continue the ongoing high-level engagements with India’s partners in Latin American countries (LAC).

India and China have had 16 rounds of Corps Commander Level meetings for the resolution of the relevant issues along the LAC in the Western Sector since the violent clash in the Galwan Valley in May 2020.

The last round of talks was held at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side on July 17.

“They are our neighbours. Everybody wants to get along with their neighbour. In personal life and country-wise as well. But everybody wants to get along with on reasonable terms. I must respect you. You must respect me,” said the minister.

“So from our point of view, we have been very clear that we have to build the relationship and there has to be mutual respect. Each one will have their interests and we need to be sensitive to what the concerns are for others for a relationship to be built,” he added.

On Sunday in Paraguay, Jaishankar unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in the capital Asuncion, highlighting the ties between the two countries.

“Appreciate Asuncion Municipality’s decision to locate it at the prominent waterfront of the city. This is a statement of solidarity that was so strongly expressed during the Covid pandemic,” Jaishankar tweeted earlier today.

The External Affairs Minister also visited the historic Casa de la Independencia, a museum showcasing the independence struggle of the country.

“Visited the historic Casa de la Independencia, from where Paraguay’s Independence movement started more than two centuries ago. A fitting testament to our common struggle and our growing relationship,” he tweeted.