India willing to talk, but no compromise: Foreign Secretary Shringla
The clashes on the border with China have led to estrangement in diplomatic ties which will not return to normalcy unless there is complete disengagement and de-escalation by its troops on the border, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said here on Friday.
“It cannot be business as usual… we are always willing to talk and engage but there will be no compromise,’’ he said at a webinar organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs with academics from all over the country.
Shringla referred to the gravity of the current situation that included the first time in 40 years that soldiers have died on the LAC. Besides, there were attempts to take unilateral actions that “seem to be efforts to change facts on the ground.’’
“Even in the depth of the COVID crises, we kept the communications lines [with China] open. Ground commanders are talking as we speak. But it is a fact that unless there is peace and tranquility in the border areas, normal bilateral relations will be affected,’’ he said.
“There is a linkage between what is happening on the border and the larger reaction that is very evident,’’ he added. The ‘large reaction’ Shringla was referring to is the banning of Chinese apps, curbs on investments from Beijing and a general souring of ties.
“As we seek to de-escalate and disengage, that could be a way to go back. Not until then,’’ he added.
The Foreign Secretary said India will give priority in supplying vaccines to its neighbours and friends. India is currently well placed to manufacture at least three vaccines and the “pharma of the world’’ will scale up its manufacturing capacities on a gigantic scale.