New Delhi: Contrary to speculation, India is not seeking any third-party mediation in peace talks with China, both at the diplomatic and political level, government sources said Saturday, adding that it is totally against any such step.
“We have made it clear to all relevant parties that we are not for any kind of third-party intervention. That has been our consistent stand,” a government source told ThePrint.
Sources further said that while talks are already on with China, there is still a “trust deficit” and the Indian military has been operationally deployed to deal with any kind of incident at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The 14th round of military talks between India and China are scheduled to be held on 12 January to ease tensions that erupted between the two sides in April 2020.
Since then, while disengagement has taken place at multiple points in Eastern Ladakh, both sides continue to amass large numbers of troops and equipment.
No India-China bilateral talks scheduled
In the past, both Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had met their Chinese counterparts in Russia in 2020.
Incidentally, Singh had played host to his Chinese counterpart at the same hotel where the Indian delegation was staying, in September that year.
Sources said that India has no qualms about talking to the Chinese side, though no bilateral talks are planned as of now.
Indian troops prepared ‘for any eventuality’
Underlining that there is a “trust deficit”, government sources said that India is not being taken in by any words or promises made by the Chinese.
While hoping that LAC tensions would dissipate through talks, sources further said that adequate troops and equipment are in place to deal with any kind of eventuality.
Last month, the defence minister had emphasised the need to develop border areas in “today’s uncertain environment when the possibility of any kind of conflict cannot be ruled out”.
During talks with his Russian counterpart in India last month, Singh had underlined that India’s defence challenges are “legitimate, real, immediate” and hence New Delhi seeks partners who are “sensitive and responsive to expectations and requirements”.
(Edited by Gitanjali Das)