External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that China has given India “five differing explanations” for deploying large forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, adding that this violation of bilateral pacts has “very significantly damaged” their relationship which is now at its “most difficult phase” in the last 30-40 years.
Speaking during an online interactive session organised by Australian think tank Lowy Institute, Jaishankar said, “We are very clear that maintaining peace and tranquillity along the LAC is the basis for the rest of the relationship to progress. You can’t have the kind of situation you have on the border and say let’s carry on with life in all other sectors of activity. It’s just unrealistic.”
He said multiple agreements between the two sides were inked from 1993 with a commitment that both parties will not bring large forces to the border areas.
“Now for some reason, for which the Chinese have to date given us five differing explanations, the Chinese have violated it. The Chinese have literally brought tens of thousands of soldiers in full military preparation mode right to the LAC in Ladakh. Naturally the relationship would be profoundly disturbed by this,” he said.