Respecting international law, recognising the legitimate interests of partners, supporting multilateralism, and promoting the common good are the only way of building a durable world order, said India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at a RIC conference.
After a violent standoff between India and China in the Galwan Valley, where 20 Indian soldiers were killed, it was being anticipated that India might not take part in the RIC conference.
Talking about the developments at RIC, Sanjay Kumar Pandey, professor at the Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, says the Indian external affairs minister’s opening statement at RIC is an oblique reference to what India sees as breach of international norms and laws and bilateral agreements. RIC is very important for the three countries and Russia will make sure that the platform remains viable for the three countries, he says.
Nevertheless, Jaishankar made it clear at the conference, where two permanent members of the UN Security Council were sitting, that the "leading voices of the world must be exemplars in every way".
The statement comes as India and China have been accusing each other of violating a consensus reached on 6 June to disengage from the contested site of the Galwan Valley in Ladakh. Despite the agreement, a violent clash broke out on 15 June in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.
Speculations around Russia’s role in diffusing the current border tension between India and China began making the rounds last week when the conference was announced.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in his remarks at the conference stated that India and China "don’t need any help from outside" and they can "solve them on their own”.
Bali R. Deepak, professor at the Centre of Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, says: “It (RIC) is not a platform to discuss bilateral issues because these are multilateral forums and multilateral issues of cooperation are discussed. But maybe in private, perhaps there could be discussions, maybe very brief, on the ongoing standoff and as far as Russia’s mediation is concerned, I don’t think Russia will because it has equally good relations with both countries. It may request both the countries to de-escalate. That is the maximum Russia can do”.
The Indian Army has, meanwhile, said corps commander level talks in Moldo (on the Chinese side of the LAC [Line of Actual Control] opposite Chusul in Ladakh) were held in a cordial, positive, and constructive atmosphere. It has suggested a mutual consensus to disengage.
China's foreign minister suggested three levels of cooperation to strengthen Russia-India-China ties: adhering to multilateralism and improving global governance, streghtening anti-epidemic cooperation, and promoting the development of the three countries.
The Global Times has reported that a bilateral talk between the Indian defence minister and his Chinese counterpart will likely take place.
Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe will attend Russia's Victory Day parade in #Moscow on Wednesday, and likely hold a meeting with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh over resolving border tensions: sources https://t.co/xlCua4t2CA pic.twitter.com/sgd8Nxy19v— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) June 23, 2020
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