NEW DELHI: Normal bilateral relationship with China is contingent on peace and tranquility 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 was speaking at an online session of the
Asia Economic Dialogue
organised by the Pune International Centre.
Economic relationship has to be calibrated based on the progress on important issues that are critical to both countries politically, he said.
"We in our interactions with our Chinese interlocutors have always made the point that a normal bilateral relationship is contingent upon peace and tranquility in the border areas," Shringla said.
India and China reached an agreement for troops disengagement at Pangong Tso after 9 rounds of military level talks, and substantial diplomatic and political efforts.
Tensions flared up along the India-China border following skirmishes between the rival troops last summer. In the bloodiest clash in decades, 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in 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 acknowledgement from China. This was followed by a massive troops build-up and weaponry mobilisation by both sides.
"Now as we disengage and as there is some forward movement in the resolution of some of the recent border friction points... obviously we 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 resolve issues in other sectors as well.
Talking of economic engagement with Beijing, he said that China is the world's second-larget economy and India has a large trade profile with it. He also mentioned India's huge trade imbalance with China.
"We have carried quite a heavy trade imbalance for over a number of years. Over time this has increasingly seemed as being unsustainable," he said.
(With agency inputs)