‘Responding to a question on the consistent comments from Beijing about how things are “okay” between the two countries, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar said on Wednesday that India will continue to maintain a relationship with China that is based on “mutual” sensitivity, respect and interest.
“What I have said, to my mind represents accurate policy assessment of where the state of our relations is. We continue to strive for a relationship with China, but one that is built on mutual sensitivity, mutual respect and mutual interest,” Jaishankar said during a press briefing in Washington on Wednesday as he wrapped his four-day official trip to the American.
Meanwhile, Chinese ambassador to India Sun Weidong stated that the situation on the India-China border is “overall stable” and the two sides have moved from the “emergency response” that followed the clash in Galwan Valley in June 2020 to “normalised management and control”.
“I think if the spokesperson of a foreign ministry were to say something, I would urge you to see a comment from the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of the corresponding country,” Jaishankar responded when asked for his reaction to Weidong’s comment.
Jaishankar’s comments seem to be going against the Chinese position that the overall India-China relationship is normal.
India-US Relationship Not Narrowed to Bilateral Gains: Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India and the United States, the world’s two largest democracies, do not share a narrow relationship only meant for bilateral gains, but the one that impacts the rest of the world, adding that both countries have recognised that this is a relationship of great capability and potential and there is still a lot of room for it to grow.
Jaishankar, during the press briefing on Wednesday, also said that the relationship between India and US today impacts the rest of the world as there are a lot of countries which look to the association individually and bilaterally and hope for solutions which the world is searching for in many aspects.
‘If you look at the India-US relationship, it’s not a narrow relationship only devoted to each other’s gains. Our relationship today impacts the rest of the world, definitely does the Indo-Pacific, Jaishankar told a group of Indian reporters on Wednesday.
Referring to the bilateral consultations between the two countries as solid, positive and productive, Jaishankar underscored that the visit was very comfortable and he had some very good conversations with the Ministers in the US.
He further added that the bilateral conversations were framed under the pretext of larger global challenges and there was a very high degree of convergence as the priorities of India and the US, at times, have been different.
“That’s the sort of broad sense that I want to give you of a very solid, positive, productive bilateral conversation but framed in the context of larger global challenges where there was a very high degree of convergence on how we look at those challenges, we may articulate it a bit differently as we are oppositions and our priorities at some times will be different,” Jaishankar said in a statement during the briefing.
Jaishankar started his US tour with an interaction with the diaspora on Sunday and over the next four days met his American counterpart Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan: and five lawmakers including Senator Mark Warner and Congressman Ami Bera.
‘India-US Ties In a Good Place’
‘Bilateral, a very solid, positive, productive bilateral conversation, but framed in the context of larger global challenges. There’s a high degree of convergence on how we look at those challenges, we may articulate it a little bit differently,” he said.
He added, “It’s natural our position’s will not be identical, our priorities may sometimes be a little bit different. But again, the good part of the relationship is today, that we understand that we have to make space for each other, and that we can work with each other, even if we do not entirely agree on every aspect of every issue, said the minister”.
Jaishankar said overall the India-US ties are in a good place. “If you look, our trades been doing well, our political exchanges have been very solid. There might be some process issues on visas, but in terms of actual movement of people, it’s on a longer timeframe again, being quite positive,” he said, adding that the student numbers are also strong.
Jaishankar on Ukraine-Russia conflict
Addressing the Ukraine-Russia conflict, EAM Jaishankar said that India has a stabolising, bridging and diplomatic role and it needs to be seen in economic terms how India can contribute to the de-risking of global economy.
“There are contributions India can make. We have today, a stabilising role, we have a bridging role. We have a diplomatic role, we have to really see in economic terms, how do we how can we contribute to the de-risking of the global economy?” Jaishankar said.
“Countries want to talk to us as there’s a belief that we’re in touch with key players, we can influence them, we’re prepared, to say things that others cannot say, we’ve reached out to countries in a way, not be possible for everybody to do so,” he added.
EAM Jaishankar assures US Admin of Help in Sorting Visa Issues
Jaishankar also assured the US administration of extending all necessary help in sorting out visa issues and said that things will get better soon.
“But I again, feel this is an issue where obviously it’s mainly for the US but we will be supportive and collaborative,” news agency ANI quoted Jaishankar as saying.
“To the people who are concerned about the visa issues, I would like to give the message that I understand their anxiety and the urgency and which is precisely the reason why I took up the matter,” said Jaishankar, and suggested Blinken that India will help the US to deal with the situation in a better way.
During the press briefing in Washington, the External Affairs Minister raised concerns about families not being able to meet and students waiting for a long time and underlined it as a ‘genuinely serious’ problem.
“In India, I mean, there are families who are not able to meet their relatives there and people who can’t keep their business appointments. There are students who are waiting for a long time. So, it’s a really it’s a genuinely serious problem of some magnitude,” Jaishankar said.
“But I’m very confident, with the sincerity that Secretary Blinken showed and the seriousness with which I hope they would address this and with any support that we can provide, we hope that things will improve,” he added.
(With agency inputs)