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Peace on the Border Matters to Economic Engagement: Shringla on India-China Relations | India News


NEW DELHI: Normal bilateral relationship with China depends on peace and quiet at the border, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Sunday, even as he highlighted the importance of trade relations between the two countries.
Shringla spoke at an Asia Economic Dialogue online session hosted by the Pune International Center.
The economic relationship must be calibrated based on progress on important issues that are critical for both countries politically, he said.
“In our interactions with our Chinese interlocutors we have always pointed out that a normal bilateral relationship depends on peace and quiet in the border areas,” Shringla said.
India and China reached an agreement for the withdrawal of troops in Pangong Tso after nine rounds of talks at the military level and important diplomatic and political efforts.
Tensions flared along the India-China border following skirmishes between rival troops last summer. In the bloodiest clash in decades, 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in a clash with PLA soldiers in the Galwan Valley on June 15 last year. Unconfirmed sources have put the casualties on the Chinese side at 35 or more, although there has been no recognition from China. This was followed by a massive concentration of troops and the mobilization of weapons by both parties.
“Now that we are withdrawing and there is some progress in resolving some of the recent border friction points … we obviously have to see what else is required,” Shringla said.
Reflecting that India has a long border with China, Shringla spoke of the need to explore the possibility of applying ‘similar principles’ to solve problems in other sectors as well.
Speaking of economic engagement with Beijing, he said that China is the world’s second largest economy and India has a great trade profile with it. He also mentioned India’s huge trade imbalance with China.
“We have endured a fairly strong trade imbalance for several years. Over time, this has seemed increasingly unsustainable,” he said.
(With contributions from the agency)

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