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China hopes LAC talks will ‘move forward’ towards ‘acceptable solution’

Military–level talks on Friday will focus on Patrolling Point 15 in Hot Springs

March 09, 2022 09:44 pm | Updated 09:44 pm IST - HONG KONG:

India and Chinese troops  exchanged sweets and greetings at 10 border posts along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), including in eastern Ladakh to mark the New Year, on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. File

India and Chinese troops exchanged sweets and greetings at 10 border posts along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), including in eastern Ladakh to mark the New Year, on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. File | Photo Credit: PTI

China on Wednesday said it hoped military-level talks with India set for Friday would “move forward” the long-running negotiations on disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) towards “an acceptable solution” for both sides.

The talks this week, the 15th round held to take forward disengagement since the crisis of 2020, will focus on Patrolling Point 15 in Hot Springs. Disengagement has already been undertaken on the north and south banks of Pangong Lake, Galwan and Gogra.

Indian defence sources earlier told The Hindu that both sides are focusing on the remaining friction areas — there are also differences in Demchok and Depsang — and that “recent statements by both sides to find a mutually acceptable solution have been encouraging and positive in nature”.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry made a similar observation on Wednesday with spokesperson Zhao Lijian saying the previous round in January saw both sides hold “a candid, in-depth exchange of views” and that Beijing “hopes this round of meeting, on the basis of previous meetings, can move forward, further enlarge consensus, narrow differences and work for a solution that is acceptable to both parties”.

Mr. Zhao referred to remarks made by Foreign Minister Wang Yi during the National People’s Congress in Beijing this week when he said “relations encountered setbacks in recent years, which do not serve the fundamental interest of the two countries and people” and needed to “move forward on the right track”.

Mr. Zhao said China “always believe[s] that the China-India relations are mature and multi-dimensional”. “The border issue doesn’t represent the whole of the China-India relations and should be put in an appropriate position in bilateral relations and under effective control,” he said.

“We hope India will work with China to continuously enhance mutual trust, strengthen practical cooperation and ensure that the bilateral relations will move forward in the right track, bring more benefits to the two peoples and make greater contributions to the region and beyond.”

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