Written byShalini Ojha
Hostile neighbors China and India have reportedly come on the same page as far as early and complete disengagement along the Line of Actual Control is concerned, New Delhi said on Friday after the 17th meeting of Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC).
Beijing also released a similar statement after the meeting.
Here are more details.
Ties between India and China nosedived in June after armies clashed at the Galwan Valley, for the first time in decades. The violent face-off took the lives of 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of PLA personnel died.
Subsequently, both countries initiated dialog at diplomatic and military levels to ward off tensions, but not much has been achieved in the last weeks.
This week, reports suggested China has refused to return to its original posts in areas like Pangong Tso and Depsang.
Moreover, nearly 40,000 troops have been stationed in high-altitude areas. India has also more than matched the build-up of the other side by deploying an equal, if not more, number of soldiers.
Seemingly, India is ready for a long haul.
The WMCC meeting was held with the agenda of diffusing tensions at LAC and is likely to set the stage for one more round of talks between Corps Commanders. The talks have happened four times since June 6.
A press release of the Ministry of External Affairs divulged details about the meeting saying that both sides reviewed the situation and the ongoing disengagement process.
"They agreed that early and complete disengagement of the troops along LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas in accordance with bilateral agreement and protocols and full restoration of peace and tranquillity was essential for the smooth overall development of bilateral relations," the release read.
MEA added that both India and China agreed to implement the conclusions reached by Corps Commanders.
"The two sides agreed that another meeting of Senior Commanders may be held soon so as to work out further steps to ensure expeditiously complete disengagement and de-escalation and restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas," MEA added.
However, the date for the next meeting wasn't revealed.
Separately, the note released by China after the WMCC meeting spoke about the "positive progress made by the frontline border defense forces of the two countries to disengage and ease the situation on the ground."
China also emphasized on continuous WMCC meetings and Corps Commander-level talks in order to "strengthen confidence" and "jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas."
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