Indian and China have been locked in a tense border face-off for years

New Delhi: Foreign Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said that the relations between India and China were not normal and could not be normal as long as there was no peace and tranquillity in the disputed border areas between the two countries.

"India-China relations are not normal and cannot be normal if peace and tranquillity in border areas are disturbed," Mr Jaishankar was quoted as saying by news agency PTI after a meeting of foreign ministers of the member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Goa.

On Thursday, Mr Jaishankar had emphasised to his Chinese counterpart, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang, the necessity of resolving the eastern Ladakh border dispute and maintaining peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for the normalization of bilateral relations between India and China.

The two foreign ministers met for nearly an hour at the Taj Exotica Resort in Goa on the sidelines of the SCO summit. In a tweet, Mr Jaishankar said that the discussion focused on resolving outstanding issues and ensuring peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

The conversation between the two leaders centred on the border dispute, with Mr Jaishankar pushing for a timely resolution, news agency PTI reported. Neither the Indian nor the Chinese side provided an official readout of the meeting.

"We had a frank discussion about it (the border situation)... We have to take the disengagement process forward," he said at the news conference on Friday.

This marks the second meeting between Mr Jaishankar and Mr Qin in the last two months. The Chinese foreign minister visited India in March to attend a meeting of the G20 foreign ministers. During that visit, Mr Jaishankar informed Mr Qin that the lingering border dispute in eastern Ladakh has caused India-China relations to be "abnormal."

Last week, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu that China's violation of existing border agreements had "eroded" the foundation of ties between the two countries. He urged for all frontier issues to be resolved according to existing agreements.

Following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake area in May 2020, tensions between India and China have significantly escalated. Despite disengagement in several areas after a series of military and diplomatic talks, Indian and Chinese troops remain locked in a standoff along the LAC in eastern Ladakh for the past three years. India maintains that the relationship between the two countries should be founded on "three mutuals" - mutual respect, mutual sensitivity, and mutual interests.