Speaking about India's relations with China and the challenges that India faced during the COVID-19 lockdown, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said that India's relations with China will not improve until the issue of the face-off at the beginning of the lockdown is resolved, news agency ANI reported.
"We were completely preoccupied with the COVID challenge. Please appreciate the anonymity of what Prime Minister Modi did. He deployed forces at this great height in very difficult conditions in the middle of COVID. And then took this challenge head-on," he said while addressing the Forum For Nationalist Thinkers, Hyderabad Chapter Talk on 'India's G20 Presidency'.
Jaishankar also noted that the world has taken notice of India's recent actions, particularly its response to the challenges posed by the pandemic and terrorism. He highlighted India's ability to deploy forces in difficult conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic and stated that the world has noted India's firm stance on the issue of the face-off with China. He also discussed India's efforts to improve infrastructure near the border areas.
"I can tell you the entire world has taken notice of this. They have also noted that since then we have stood firm. We have made it very clear that until there is a resolution to this issue, our relations with China will not be normal," he said.
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The External Affairs Minister emphasized the importance of infrastructure in supporting soldiers on the field and noted the significant improvements made in the northern areas in terms of road and tunnel infrastructure. He argued that neglecting infrastructure near the borders would be a disservice to the soldiers.
"Our roads in northern areas have doubled, and tunnelling has tripled. People today say that economy and infrastructure don't matter. Let me tell you, it matters to the soldiers on the field. If we don't provide them infrastructure, we are not doing them justice," he pointed out.
Jaishankar also discussed India's response to the issue of terrorism and highlighted the difference in India's response to terrorist attacks such as 26/11, Uri, and Balakot. He noted that the world is taking note of India's actions in this regard.
"Terrorism has troubled us for a long time. But the rest of the world compares how we reacted to 26/11, and how we reacted to Uri and Balakot. They see the difference," Jaishankar said.