India, China agree to hold next round of military talks at the earliest
India and China hold "constructive" talks on eastern Ladakh disengagement, no major breakthrough, but commitment to stability emphasised
India and China on Thursday, 29 November held "constructive" diplomatic talks on proposals to resolve the remaining issues and achieve complete disengagement in eastern Ladakh, but there was no clear indications of any major breakthrough.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said both sides decided to hold the next round of senior commanders' meeting at the earliest to achieve the "objective" and that it was agreed on the need to ensure a stable situation on the ground and avoid any untoward incident.
It said the two sides reviewed the situation and engaged in an "open, constructive and in-depth" discussion on proposals to resolve the remaining issues and achieve complete disengagement in eastern Ladakh.
The virtual talks took place under the framework of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC).
Gourangalal Das, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs, led the Indian delegation. The Chinese team was headed by the director-general, boundary and oceanic affairs in the Chinese foreign ministry.
"The two sides reviewed the situation along the LAC in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas, and engaged in an open, constructive and in-depth discussion of proposals to resolve the remaining issues and achieve complete disengagement in eastern Ladakh," the MEA said in a statement.
"They further agreed on the need to maintain peace and tranquillity along the border areas, ensure a stable situation on the ground and avoid any untoward incident," it said.
"The two sides agreed to continue dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and hold the next round of the senior commanders' meeting at the earliest in order to achieve the above objective," the MEA added.
In the last round of military talks in October, the Indian side strongly pressed for resolution of the lingering issues at Depsang and Demchok.
The Indian and Chinese troops are locked in an over three-year confrontation in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh even as the two sides completed disengagement from several areas following extensive diplomatic and military talks.
India has been maintaining that its ties with China cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border areas.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on 5 May , 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area.
The ties between the two countries nosedived significantly following the fierce clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 that marked the most serious military conflict between the two sides in decades.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in 2021 on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.
Published: 01 Dec 2023, 8:47 AM