China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi is reportedly coming to Delhi in the next few days. This would be the first visit by any senior Chinese leader since the violent clash at the Line Of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh two years ago. However, The visit has not been officially confirmed by either side.
Ties between New Delhi and Beijing have been cold since the spring of 2020 when the incursion by PLA soldiers at various points in Ladakh also led to an unprecedented confrontation in the Galwan Valley leading to the deaths of 20 Indian and several Chinese soldiers.
The militaries of both countries have held several rounds of talks with little success so far.
Wang Yi and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar met twice after the incident – in Moscow in September 2020 and Dushanbe in September 2021.
The border standoff in eastern Ladakh erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area. The face-off escalated after the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15, 2020, when at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed. A report had claimed that 42, and not four, Chinese soldiers were killed during the clashes.
Minister Wang Yi had earlier this month said that China and India have encountered “some setbacks” in the bilateral relations in recent years, and called for managing their differences over the boundary issue through equal footing consultations for a “fair and equitable” settlement. He also said that some forces have always sought to stoke tensions between China and India, in an apparent reference to the US.
“China and India relations have encountered some setbacks in recent years which do not serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and the two peoples,” he had said in response to a question on the boundary issue and ties between the two neighbours.
Mr Jaishankar had last month asserted that India is engaged in talks with China on the Ladakh border issue with absolute clarity that it will not agree to any change in the status quo or any attempt to unilaterally alter the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the region.
“We are absolutely clear that we will not agree to any change in the status quo. Any attempt to change the LAC unilaterally by one side. So however complex it is, however long it takes, however difficult it is, I think that clarity is what guides us,” he had said during an interaction at a think tank in Paris.
Minister Wang Yi, who is also the State Councilor, had said China and India should be “partners rather than rivals”.