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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

China long haul: After Trump-Modi call, India briefs Russia

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the situation on the India-China border with US President Donald Trump, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has “updated” Russian Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev on the “recent developments” on the situation along the LAC, The Indian Express has learnt.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | June 5, 2020 1:31:43 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Puti. (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool via REUTERS/File)

Ahead of the military-level engagement between India and China to de-escalate the situation along the Line of Actual Control, India has stepped up its diplomacy with major powers.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the situation on the India-China border with US President Donald Trump, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has “updated” Russian Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev on the “recent developments” on the situation along the LAC, The Indian Express has learnt.

Sources said that if the stand-off is “protracted”, Delhi may brief more countries in the coming days. However, there has been no talk of international mediation, sources said.

During Doklam, India had steered away from discussing the situation with other countries, although there were some briefings which had taken place in Beijing by the Chinese government.

This time, India — for the first time — in at least last 20 years, publicly acknowledged that it had discussed the stand-off at the India-China border with the US President.

In the past, the India-China border may have been discussed but it was not declared publicly and was couched in the diplomatic phrase of “regional developments” or “regional security situation”.

The feeling in New Delhi is that it needs to “clearly articulate its position” to the world given that it is Beijing that has recently undertaken activity hindering India’s normal patrolling patterns.

More so when in the “rules-based order,” Beijing is perceived to be violating some of them — from South China Sea to WHO — there is view that New Delhi may be able to make a case out of the current LAC situation.

However, as of now, New Delhi is clear that it is not seeking any international mediation with China.

While Trump had publicly suggested so, New Delhi has maintained that it is working through diplomatic and military channels to resolve the situation peacefully.

China has also maintained the same position, as the Foreign ministry spokesperson said in Beijing Wednesday, “On border-related issues, there have been sound mechanisms and channels of communication between China and India, and the two sides are capable of properly resolving relevant issues through dialogue and consultation. There is no need for any third party to intervene.”

Incidentally, after the Trump-Modi call Tuesday, the the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said: “The idea of an expanded G7summit is in general a step in the right direction, but does not really mean a true representation. For instance, it is obvious that it is hardly possible to implement serious global initiatives without China”.

The statement was tweeted by the Russian embassy in India.

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