As India and China remained locked in a standoff in eastern Ladakh, the government fielded a number of calls and conversations from different countries offering support, and this helped the Modi government put forward its perspective on the confrontation in the high Himalayas.
Foreign minister S Jaishankar spoke to counterparts from the US, the UK, France, Germany, Indonesia, Australia, Canada and Japan among others, delivering what the government believes are reasonable results. After a conversation with French foreign minister Yves Le Drian, Jaishankar had tweeted: “Wide-ranging discussion with French FM J Y LeDrian. Covered issues of contemporary security and political importance.
Also agreed to address Covid-related challenges in health and aviation. Thanked him for the strong support in UNSC and look forward to working together.” Jaishankar also used conversations with ministers from Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Mexico and Ireland on India’s UNSC term to brief them about China and its aggression in Ladakh and Sikkim.
Diplomatic sources said there was intense curiosity about the India-China clash, the causes, and how India planned to deal with it. In the light of Covid-19 and Chinese actions thereafter, there might have been a receptivity to what India had to say. Government sources said that they believed PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Ladakh amplified the Indian resolve on standing up to Chinese aggression.
That made it easier to push the government messaging to China and to the world. While this was happening, India and China were also engaged in serious discussions at military and diplomatic levels to disengage at the LAC in Ladakh. “We have very quietly but effectively got the international community to understand our perspective. As a result, we have garnered both sympathy and support,” a government source said, referring to the diplomatic effort of the past few weeks to explain India’s position to the rest of the world.
India’s job was made easier by the general sense of aggression shown by China with all its neighbours, both on land and on the seas.