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S. Jaishankar called the presence of Chinese troops with weapons at LAC 'a critical security challenge.'

The statement was made by External Affairs Minister Jaishankar on Oct 16, during a virtual event hosted by ASPI.

The statement was made by External Affairs Minister Jaishankar on Oct 16, during a virtual event hosted by ASPI.The Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), a non-profit organization which focuses on educating the world about Asia, hosted a virtual event on Oct 16, 2020, during which External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had a discussion with ASPI President Kevin Rudd on the global challenges confronting India, as well as the policy, approaches the country will take to tackle them. The two also spoke about Jaishankar’s new book, ‘The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World.’

Jaishankar said that the basis on which India and China have built a relationship over the last 30 years had been peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and multiple agreements created the framework for this by limiting military forces in border areas and setting the stage for border management. He added that the events of this year marked a ‘departure from these agreements.’

There has been friction between both countries ever since violent clashes broke out in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15, in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army also suffered an unspecified number of casualties. The incident was followed by several rounds of Corps Commander level talks between the two nations, but nothing has come out of the discussions so far.

On being questioned about the Chinese activity on the border and the reason behind it, Jaishankar said he has ‘no reasonable explanation.’ He said there are many soldiers with weapons concentrated on that segment of the border, which is a ‘very critical security challenge’ that they face.

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