India, China continue talks amid border row, call for disengagement
Months into the India-China border row, both nations held another round of talks to resolve the conflict. The latest round of diplomatic talks comes after a gap of several weeks to resolve tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. During the talks, both sides agreed to work toward immediate and complete disengagement along the LAC. Here are more details.
India and China resumed talks under the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs (WMCC). The Ministry of External Affairs said that both sides reviewed the developments along the LAC since the last round of WMCC was held on September 30. They agreed to continue work towards complete disengagement at all friction points along the LAC at the earliest.
The MEA said in a statement on Friday, "The two sides noted that the seventh and eighth rounds of senior commanders meetings held on October 12 and November 6 respectively had in-depth discussions in this regard..." These discussions had "also contributed to ensuring stability on the ground," both India and China observed, agreeing to maintain close consultations at the diplomatic and military level.
Both sides agreed that the next round of senior commanders' meeting should be held at an early date to allow complete disengagement in accordance with existing bilateral agreements and protocols to "fully restore peace and tranquillity," the MEA said.
The latest talks come a day after MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said that further discussions between the two countries will help to achieve an agreement on a mutually acceptable solution on complete disengagement. The eighth and last round of military talks had taken place on November 6, when both sides had discussed the disengagement of troops from specific friction points.
India and China have held several rounds of diplomatic and military-level talks since a border stand-off near Ladakh's Pangong Tso lake in early-May. Tensions have escalated multiple times at several friction sites along the LAC, including a fatal clash in Galwan Valley in mid-June, which led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers. Both sides have blamed each other for escalating the conflict.