India warned on Saturday of what it called a "fragile and dangerous" situation between it and China in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, where armed forces from both sides are deployed in close proximity at a number of points.
Indian Foreign Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar said: "The situation in my opinion is still very fragile, because there are places where our forces are deployed very close to each other, so in terms of military assessment the situation is very serious."
In a forum for India Today, the minister said India-China relations "cannot return to normal before the border dispute is resolved in line with the initial September 2020 agreement he reached with his Chinese counterpart."
He said he had discussed the situation with Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Gang on the sidelines of a meeting of G20 foreign ministers hosted by India this month, stressing that "the Chinese have to fulfill what has been agreed, which they find difficult."
Jaishankar says India-China relations "cannot return to normal until the border dispute is resolved" (Reuters)
Jaishankar noted that although troops from both sides have withdrawn from many locations, there are ongoing discussions on unresolved matters. "We have made it clear to the Chinese that we cannot accept the breach of peace and tranquility, and you cannot violate the agreement with the desire for the rest of the relations to continue as if nothing had happened," he said. That can't continue."
He also confirmed that he had discussed the situation with his new Chinese counterpart Chen Gang on the sidelines of a meeting of G20 foreign ministers hosted by India this month.
At least 24 soldiers were killed in clashes between the two sides in the area in mid-2020, but rounds of diplomatic and military talks have calmed the situation.
Violence erupted in the eastern sector of the unmarked border between the two major nuclear-armed Asian countries in December, but resulted in no deaths.