Peace and tranquillity in the border areas clearly remains the basis for normal relations between India and China, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday amid the lingering border row in eastern Ladakh.
Jaishankar said the last few years have been a period of "serious challenge", both for the relationship and for the prospects of the Asian continent.
"The continuation of the current impasse will not benefit either India or China. New normals of posture will inevitably lead to new normals of responses," he said, referring to the border row.
"It is the willingness to take a long-term view of their ties that the two countries must display today," Jaishankar said in an address at a conference on 'China's Foreign Policy and International Relations in the New Era'.
He said India's search for a "more balanced" and "stable relationship" with China was severely impacted by the border row in eastern Ladakh.
"Given the developments of 2020, they obviously focus on an effective defence of the border. This was notably undertaken even in the midst of Covid," Jaishankar said.
"Peace and tranquillity in the border areas clearly remains the basis for normal relations. From time to time, this has been mischievously conflated with the sorting out of the boundary question," he said.
Looking back at seven decades of engagement, the external affairs minister said it would be fair to state that India has essentially taken a determinedly bilateral approach to China.
"There are many reasons for this, including a sense of Asian solidarity and suspicion of third party interests that emanated from other experiences," he said.
Jaishankar said the ties can become sustainable on the basis of "three mutuals: mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interest".
(With PTI inputs)