Emphasis on early meeting of military commanders in India-China meeting

Emphasis on early meeting of military commanders in India-China meeting

India and China agreed on Friday to carry subsequent meeting of senior military commanders as soon as possible to debate complete disengagement at friction points on the road of Actual Control (LAC) while working to take care of stability on the bottom .

This was the sole tangible outcome from a virtual meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs, which resulted in what the external affairs ministry described as a “frank exchange of views” on things along the LAC within the western sector. The last meeting of the military commanders at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point was persisted April 9.

Following a drawdown of troops and armoured units from the north and south banks of Pangong Lake in February, India and China haven’t made any headway on disengagement and de-escalation at other friction points like Depsang, Gogra and Hot Springs. the 2 sides have also engaged during a war of words in the week , blaming one another for the year-long standoff on the LAC.

On Thursday, India blamed China’s actions of amassing troops in border areas and attempting to unilaterally change the established order on the LAC for the standoff, and dismissed Beijing’s contention that New Delhi’s policies were responsible for the tensions.

Following the WMCC meeting, a press release issued by the external affairs ministry said: “The two sides agreed to carry subsequent (12th) round of the senior commanders meeting at an early date to realize the target of complete disengagement from all the friction points along the LAC within the Western Sector in accordance with the prevailing bilateral agreements and protocols.”

The two sides also agreed to take care of dialogue and communication through diplomatic and military mechanisms to succeed in a “mutually acceptable solution for complete disengagement from all friction points so on ensure full restoration of peace and tranquillity to enable progress within the bilateral relations”, the statement said.

In the interim, the 2 sides will “continue to make sure stability on the bottom and stop any untoward incident”, the statement said. It added that each side also agreed on finding an early resolution to remaining issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh in line with the agreement reached between the 2 foreign ministers in September 2020.

This was the eighth round of diplomatic talks under the WMCC mechanism since the standoff began in May last year.

The Indian delegation was led by additional secretary (East Asia) Naveen Srivastava, and therefore the director general of the boundary and oceanic department of China’s foreign ministry, Hong Liang, led the Chinese delegation.

A separate readout in Mandarin from China’s foreign ministry described the discussions as a “candid and in-depth” exchange of views and said the 2 sides agreed to “consolidate the results of the disengagement of border troops” and “properly resolve the remaining issues” within the western sector of the border.

The Chinese readout also mentioned the consensus reached by the foreign ministers, and said the 2 sides will still “promote further de-escalation of things at the border, avoid the recurrence of things on the bottom , and jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity”.

It added that specific time and arrangements for subsequent round of military talks are going to be determined through the “border hotline as soon as possible”.

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