Written bySiddhant Pandey
Amid heightened tensions regarding the border situation in Eastern Ladakh, India and China on Wednesday agreed to sincerely implement disengagement and de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The decision comes over a week after the two sides faced off in a violent clash that led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers.
Here are more details.
The 15th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was held through video conferencing on Wednesday.
During the meeting, the Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Naveen Srivastava, led the Indian delegation while Director-General in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wu Jianghao, led the Chinese delegation.
In a statement, the MEA said that the two sides discussed the developments in the border areas, particularly in Eastern Ladakh.
It was emphasized that both sides should strictly respect and observe the LAC, the MEA said.
According to the statement, the two sides agreed to maintain diplomatic and military-level communication to ensure peaceful resolution.
They also recalled a conversation held between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi last week.
It was reaffirmed that the two sides will sincerely implement the understanding of disengagement and de-escalation that was reached by the Senior Commanders on June 6.
The MEA said, "The two delegations agreed that implementation of this understanding expeditiously, in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols, would help ensure peace and tranquillity in border areas and the development of a broader relationship between the two countries."
Indian and Chinese forces had faced off near Patrolling Point 14 in the Galwan Valley area of Eastern Ladakh on Monday night.
The latest escalation came after a month-long standoff between the two forces at key locations along the LAC.
In early-May, the two sides had clashed near the Pangong Tso lake after China opposed the construction projects undertaken by India.
Since the June 15 clash, China has not revealed the number of casualties. Reportedly, a commanding officer of China's People's Liberation Army was among those killed.
According to Hindustan Times, China admitted that it suffered casualties. Speaking to diplomats at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, He Xiangqi, Deputy Director-General of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, said the "...casualties on the Chinese side were not very heavy."
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