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India's foreign minister says trust with China 'disturbed' after border clash

India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday that trust with China had been deeply impaired after last summer's border clash which resulted in the first loss of lives in 45 years.

Troops remain locked in a stand off at the bitterly contested border in the western Himalayas, the most serious military crisis between the nuclear-armed neighbours for decades.

“After 45 years, you've actually had bloodshed on the border. And that's had a huge impact on public opinion and politically [...] Really the impact of trust and confidence in India where China and their relationship is concerned. That has been profoundly disturbed,” Jaishankar told the Reuters Next conference, speaking from New Delhi.

Separately, the Indian army chief during a press talk today said that he expected talks to lead to an amicable solution to the border crisis with China.

“I am very hopeful for a positive situation,” General Manoj Mukund Naravane told reporters.

Indian and Chinese troops remain locked in a high-altitude confrontation along the border in Ladakh, where soldiers clashed in brutal hand-to-hand combat last June.

Twenty Indian troops were killed in the clash, and the Chinese side suffered an undisclosed number of casualties.

Both sides have since said that they are looking to find ways to de-escalate the situation on the border, but talks have made little headway and both sides have maintained a heavy military deployment through the freezing winter months.

Last month, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said there had been “no meaningful result” from several rounds of diplomatic and military talks aimed at de-escalating the confrontation.

“If the status quo continues, it is obvious that the deployment won’t come down,” Singh said during an interview with Reuters partner ANI.

But, he said, both sides were still exchanging messages over the border situation and another round of military talks was in the offing.

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