The aggression displayed by the Chinese since the 2020 Galwan incident in eastern Ladakh, has eroded strategic trust between the India and China, India's National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval said to the Chinese special representative Wang Yi.
Doval was meeting with top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Friends of BRICS meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Monday (24 July).
During the bilateral meeting, the two leaders discussed the strained relationship between India and China since 2020, particularly concerning the situation along the LAC, India's de-facto border with China in the western sector of the demarcation.
According to reports, Ajit Doval expressed concerns about "the erosion of strategic trust and the deterioration of the public and political basis of the bilateral relationship due to the ongoing tensions along the border."
As the special representatives on boundary talks for their respective countries, Doval and Wang Yi emphasised the importance of resolving the situation and restoring peace and tranquility in the border areas.
They recognised that this step is crucial to remove obstacles and foster normalcy in the overall bilateral relations between India and China.
In response, Wang Yi acknowledged the need to enhance strategic mutual trust and focus on consensus and cooperation to overcome the current challenges.
He stressed that China is committed to never seeking hegemony and is willing to collaborate with developing countries, including India, to support multi-lateralism and promote a more just and equitable development of the international order, as reported by China's state-run news agency Xinhua.
Both sides agreed on the significance of the India-China bilateral relationship, not only for their countries but also for the region and the world at large.
The meeting comes in the wake of India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's recent discussion with Wang in Jakarta, Indonesia, where they addressed outstanding issues related to peace and tranquility in the border areas.
The military stand-off between India and China has persisted for over three years, with Minister Jaishankar describing it as one of the most complex challenges in his long diplomatic career. India has consistently maintained that normalcy in bilateral relations can only be achieved if peace is restored in the border area.
Apart from discussing bilateral ties, Ajit Doval also addressed cybersecurity challenges at the Friends of BRICS meeting and called for collective efforts to tackle them.
The NSA engaged in several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from other BRICS countries and Friends of BRICS countries during the event.
South Africa is gearing up to host the BRICS Summit next month. BRICS is a grouping of five major emerging economies, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
As the talks between the top representatives of India and China took place in Johannesburg, hopes for finding common ground and building a stable relationship between the two Asian giants were rekindled.
Both sides recognised the broader significance of their bilateral relationship, and the world will be closely watching the developments following these high-level discussions.
Editorial Associate at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.
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