The second meet between the two ministers after G20 event shows that both sides want to continue dialogue to resolve Ladakh border issue.
External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will meet his Chinese counterpart Qi Gang on the sidelines of the SCO Foreign Ministers Meeting in Goa tomorrow to push for resolution of remaining boundary issues in East Ladakh. The pending resolution of Depsang Bulge and Demchok in East Ladakh is holding back normalization of bilateral ties between the two Asian giants.
There, however, is no bilateral meeting scheduled between EAM Jaishankar and Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is expected to attend the SCO FM meeting also. While EAM Jaishankar has always raised the issue of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, Zardari has gone well beyond his brief and spewed venom against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in particular and against India in general in the context of Kashmir. FM Zardari comes to India at a time when his deputy Hina Rabbani Khar is in news for asking Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to dump ties with the US and in favour of a strategic partnership with China in a secret communique leaked to western media.
While the SCO FM meeting is expected to finalize the agreements to be signed in the July SCO summit, the meeting between EAM Jaishankar and Chinese FM Qi Gang is an indicator that both sides are keen to resolve outstanding border issues and have the patience to deal with the problem without further aggravating the border tensions. Even during the April 23, 2023, senior military commanders meeting at Chushul, the Chinese military commander made it clear that the PLA wanted the issue to be resolved but wanted to seek directions from Beijing on both Depsang Bulge and Demchok area. The Indian Army commander reiterated that the border issue does not get resolved till both the friction points are resolved followed by de-escalation and de-induction of PLA forces packed across the East Ladakh LAC in occupied Aksai Chin region. It is quite evident that the PLA commanders are awaiting instructions from the top leadership to resolve the two remaining friction points.