Dismissing the recent scuffle between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh as a "face-off" that was resolved, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday said the second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, set for October in India, would be held in "as warm a spirit as Wuhan".
Answering a query on the scuffle in eastern Ladakh on the Pangong Tso lake's bank, Mr Jaishankar said it was not a skirmish but a face-off that was resolved using the bilateral mechanisms. He also said it took place due to differing perceptions about the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Mr Jaishankar declined to reveal the venue of the second informal summit.
However, he said it would "be held in as warm a spirit as Wuhan, or maybe warmer depending on the temperature of the location of that place. But my sense is the commitment to have those kinds of conversations remains strong on both sides."
He said as part of the Wuhan spirit, "the leaders of the two important countries spent two days in great comfortable, open conversation with each other on a range of subjects. In the past, most conversations were choreographed with a set agenda. This was free-wheeling."
"It is important for both India and China, which are rising powers, to find equilibriums because each has their own expectations of the world and of each other," he said.
He said the idea of the Wuhan informal summit sprung from the Astana meeting between the two leaders, which was that the bilateral relationship should be a source of stability in an uncertain world and that they should not allow their differences to become disputes.
To a question about Chinese ships being sighted near areas in the South China Sea where India was working on hydrocarbon explorations with Vietnam, he said Hanoi was looking into it. "I think a lot of the responses to that are being handled by the Vietnamese and that is the way it should be," he said.
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