Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 12
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today said India will rise to the occasion and meet the national security challenge posed by the seven-month-long border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.
However, he refrained from crystal-gazing on how the LAC standoff will finally shape up. “I would not go into the prediction zone at all whether it is going to be easy or not, and what will be the timelines and so on,” he said on being asked whether the bid to restore status quo along the LAC will be a long haul or a breakthrough is expected soon.
“I also believe that what has happened is not actually in the interest of China, because it has significantly impacted public sentiment in India. Professionally, I have seen the evolution of how the Indian public feels about China and am old enough to remember much more difficult days, especially in my childhood and in my teens,” he said during an interaction session at the FICCI convention.
The minister admitted that South Block’s proclaimed proximity with the Trump administration did not result in a trade deal. “There was a fairly serious negotiation between our government and the Trump administration on resolving the outstanding trade issues. The general idea was — let’s deal with the differences before moving forward,” he said.
“For a variety of reasons they did not close it. On our side, we were dead serious. We wanted to deal with those issues because we thought there was something much bigger in store for the relationship,” he explained.
Jaishankar also said India would remain committed to the concept of the Indo-Pacific though US President-elect Joe Biden had used the term “Asia Pacific” while introducing his nominee for the post of Defence Secretary.