India, China agree to peacefully resolve border issue, says MEA
Both India and China have agreed to peacefully resolve ongoing Ladakh standoff, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Sunday. On Saturday, the military commanders of both nations held "cordial and positive" talks at the Chushul-Moldo point along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh. Tensions had escalated in early-May when both sides faced off at various locations in Eastern Ladakh.
The meeting between India and China was held at the Border Personnel Meeting Point in Maldo on the Chinese side of the LAC. Led by 14 Corps Commander Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, the Indian delegation met China's Major General Liu Lin, the commander of South Xinjiang Military Region of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. The two discussed the ongoing tussle in Eastern Ladakh.
The MEA said Sunday that India and China will continue military and diplomatic engagements to resolve the border situation. It said, "Both sides agreed to peacefully resolve the situation in the border areas in accordance with various bilateral agreements and keeping in view the agreement between the leaders that peace and tranquillity in India-China border regions is essential for overall development of bilateral relations."
The statement added, "Both sides also noted that this year marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries (India and China) and agreed that an early resolution would contribute to the further development of the relationship."
According to Hindustan Times, the India-China face-off was triggered by India's construction of a new observation point in the Finger area. China then sent a large number of troops which led to a scuffle near the Pangong Tso lake on the intervening night of May 5-6. India's construction of a 60-meter bridge across the Galwan rivulet in Depsang Plains triggered another dispute.
China's move to mobilize troops of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the border areas to stop construction activities on the Indian side has been strongly opposed. The conflict was also fueled by differences in the perception of the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. Reportedly, there are 12 areas of differences between the two countries in the perception of the LAC.
India has sought to restore the status quo as in April 2020 (before the early-May standoff) at all areas of conflict. On Friday, Indian and Chinese officials held talks via a video conference and agreed to handle "their differences through peaceful discussion" while respecting each other's sensitivities and concerns. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had also said that the issue will be sorted through dialog.