External affairs minister, S Jaishankar said that, like in the past, New Delhi will never join any system of alliance

China on Wednesday said it hoped that India will continue to follow “an independent diplomatic policy” after external affairs minister, S Jaishankar said that, like in the past, New Delhi will never join any system of alliance. Speaking to a television channel, Jaishankar said on Monday that India will never join any alliance system in the future just as it never did in the past.

“Non-alignment was a term of a particular era and geopolitical landscape. One aspect was independence, which remains a factor of continuity for us,” Jaishankar said while speaking on the topic of “Geopolitics of opportunity: As the world rebalances, how should India capitalise?”

The minister’s statement comes in the backdrop of the worst chill in Sino-Indian ties in decades following the violent Galwan Valley clash in eastern Ladakh last month – and New Delhi carrying out a military naval drill with US aircraft carrier, Nimitz, near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands this week.

Responding to Chinese state media’s question on Jaishankar’s remarks, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin said China had taken note of his remarks.

“China has noted relevant reports. We hope and believe that as an important force in the global multi polarisation, India will stay to its independent diplomatic policy and play a constructive role in maintaining regional peace and stability and in the management of international affairs,” Wang said in his brief response.

Beijing would have also certainly taken note of the Indian navy’s drills with its US counterpart. Nimitz, the US aircraft carrier, along with another carrier USS Ronald Reagan had earlier carried out a drill in the South China Sea region, deeply riling China.

Following the exercise with the US Navy, the Indian Navy said in a statement, “The Passage Exercise near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands involved the United States’ Carrier Strike Group (CSG) led by aircraft carrier Nimitz and units of Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet and Andaman and Nicobar Command.”

New Delhi and Beijing are currently carrying out phased military and diplomatic talks to deescalate the tense situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

At the end of the fourth round of military talks last week, China had said the talks had made progress in disengaging troops in the western section of the disputed boundary.

The Chinese foreign ministry said it hoped New Delhi would work with Beijing to safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

The talks, aimed at de-escalation, have taken place in a phased manner weeks after Indian and Chinese troops clashed along the LAC in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh. The violent brawl between troops of both sides on June 15 claimed the lives of 20 Indian army personnel while an unspecified number of Chinese were also killed.