Sydney [Australia], October 11 (ANI): Giving insight into the diplomacy involved in the ever-changing geo-political dynamics of the world, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar divulged the intricacies of diplomacy, to "keep communications lines open" during the time of hostilities between the nations.
At a lively discussion with Michael Fullilove, Executive Director of the Lowy Institute in Sydney on Tuesday, Jaishankar stressed the fundamental essentials of diplomacy.
Speaking on the relationship between Canberra and Beijing, as well as, on Kyiv and Moscow, he gave the example of how India diplomatically handled the relationship between India and China, he said, "We had two and half very difficult years of relationship with China (Galwan clash) which has included the first bloodshed we had on the border after 40 years. We lost 20 soldiers but our endeavour, my endeavour has been to keep the communication lines going, in fact, the morning after that I called up my counterpart Wang Yi and urged him to ensure that there are no escalatory moves, complicating moves by the Chinese side."
"For me, diplomacy is about communication, if diplomats do not communicate with each other then what kind of diplomacy do they do? We have another neighbour with whom we have a very difficult relationship (Pakistan) but at the end of the day countries have to deal with each other and you have to find some way of keeping that going," he added.
Australia and China's cordial economic ties, established over the last three decades, have been soured over several points of friction.
Many issues have dominated the deteriorating relationship between the two countries. In April 2020, Australia suggested the start of an inquiry into the origins and the initial handling of the coronavirus.
China alleged that Australia was teaming up with the US to spread "anti-China propaganda."
China further called for boycotting Australia as a tourist and higher education destination and banning Australian products like wine and beef.
In May, Chinese authorities imposed an 80 per cent tariff on barley imports from Australia. China is the most critical market for Australian barley.
China also began a trade probe into Australian wine and suspended import permits for four large beef processing plants.
The two countries have also been at loggerheads on other ideological issues previously too.
After reports surfaced of China keeping Uyghur Muslims in state-run detention camps, Australia was swift to respond and expressed "deep concern" over the "human rights situation."
Similarly, after China imposed the National Security Law in Hong Kong, Australia suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and said the law undermines Hong Kong's autonomy and suppresses opposition to Mainland China.
Australia also decided to extend visas for Hong Kong residents. In both instances, China responded staunchly and asked Australia to not meddle in its "internal matters."
This was Jaishnakar's second visit to Australia this year which portrays the importance of the relationship between the two countries.
Discussing the bilateral relationship in the context of larger global developments, Jaishankar said that he had good conversations with Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles, the Education Minister Jason Clare, and also spent some time with Australian Defence Forces.
"India-Australia relationship has been the focus of my visit. I am the 6th minister of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to visit Australia this year after the Labour Government has come to power. That in itself should tell you something about the seriousness with which we approach this relationship," said Jaishankar.
He also emphasized that the relationship between the two countries is being discovered/rediscovered more profoundly than before.
"What has led us to discover/rediscover each other more profoundly than before - is a combination of factors, some of it is changes in our own societies, some of it is broadening interest. We have both become globalized and in India's case - we have started to look and act eastwards in the last quarter century," said the EAM.
"Some part of it is due to larger geopolitical changes in the world. Changes that directly impact the region of which India is on one side and Australia at the other end of the periphery," he added.
Jaishankar further stated that he has confidence that this relationship is going to pick up steam very rapidly.
"I clearly have the confidence that this relationship is going to pick up steam very rapidly. We passed one milestone of the free trade agreement which is currently under the process of ratification," said Jaishankar.
He also discussed Covid, conflict and climate change and said, "We are grappling with three C's: Covid, conflict and climate change. I think these are the 3 big issues which have disrupted world politics and disrupted the world economy." (ANI)