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Ladakh border row: Jaishankar meets Chinese counterpart, says ‘unilateral change of status quo not acceptable’

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Wednesday met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Dushanbe and discussed outstanding issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western sector (Ladakh).

“Concluded a one-hour bilateral meeting with State Councilor and FM Wang Yi of China on the sidelines of Dushanbe SCO Foreign Ministers Meeting. Discussions focused on the outstanding issues along the LAC in the Western Sector,” Jaishankar tweeted following the meeting.

Jaishankar said he highlighted that unilateral change of status quo is not acceptable to India and that full restoration and maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas was essential for the development of bilateral ties.

During the meeting, both parties also agreed on convening an early meeting between senior military commanders of India and China.

India and China have been locked in a military standoff at multiple friction points in eastern Ladakh since early May last year. However, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong Tso lake in February following a series of military and diplomatic talks.

Last week, Jaishankar had said that Beijing has not observed agreements on the border issue, which has “disturbed” the foundation of bilateral ties.

“I would say, for the last 40 years, we had a very stable relation with China… China emerged as the second-largest trade partner…But for the last one year, there has been a lot of concern about the relationship because China has not observed agreements it had signed up for when it came to our border,” said Jaishankar, who is in Moscow on a three-day visit,” Jaishankar had said in response to a question on China-India relations at the Primakov Institute of World Economy & International Relations in Moscow.

Jaishankar is representing India at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting.

Apart from Jaishankar, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi are among the participants at the meeting.

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