Dr. Jaishankar has put the onus on China for the current tensions between the two countries for violating the agreements.
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has spoken about a "bad patch" in India's ongoing ties and tension with China and maintained that it was for Beijing to answer specific issues.
"We are going through a particularly bad patch in our relationship because they have taken a set of actions in violation of agreements for which they still don't have a credible explanation," Dr Jaishankar said at a panel discussion on 'Greater Power Competition: The Emerging World Order' at the Bloomberg New Economic Forum in Singapore on Friday (November 19).
He said the onus is on China to explain the cause of "some rethink" about where it wants to take the relationship between two Asian giants. "….. that's for them to answer," he said, almost in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.
The Minister said, "I don't think the Chinese have any doubt on where we stand on our relationship and what's not gone right with it. I've been meeting my counterpart Wang Yi a number of times. As you would've experienced, I speak fairly clear, reasonably understandably… no lack of clarity. So if they want to hear it, I am sure they would have heard it," Jaishankar said.
Recently, India said it had taken cognisance of a Pentagon report claiming that China had built a large village in disputed territory in the Arunachal Pradesh sector. But the MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi said New Delhi has neither accepted any illegal occupation of its territory by China nor accepted unjustified Chinese claims.
There have been issues along the Ladakh border, too, since May 2020. A violent clash and casualties from both sides led to the enhanced deployment of additional forces, and problems have only got complicated.
The last round of military talks on October 10 ended in a stalemate, although the disengagement process was carried out in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake.
Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, recently called China the 'biggest security threat' and used words like "suspicion".
Dr Jaishankar has meanwhile rejected the argument that the United States has been yielding space to other players.
"Don't confuse it with the decline of the United States. I think that's ridiculous," he said. The discussion programme was attended by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"It's clear China has been expanding. But the nature of China, the manner of its growing influence, is very different. And we don't have a situation where China necessarily replaces the United States," he said.
Hillary Clinton waxes eloquent:
For her part, Hillary Clinton raised the bogey of non-state actors in contemporary geopolitics.
"We can't just think about nation states…..Vladimir Putin (Russian president) is a great example of that, because with his oligarchic coterie, he has utilised many non-state actors to pursue personal as well as nationalistic goals," she said.
The former United States Secretary of State said the US reviews the punitive trade tariffs imposed on China by the Donald Trump dispensation.
"I know that there is an ongoing process as we speak to try to figure out what would be the best approach with respect to the tariffs… And I would predict that there will be some changes, but they will not all disappear."