LAC standoff | India, China hold border dialogue, set for more military talks

An army truck moves towards LAC, amid India-China border dispute in eastern Ladakh, in Leh. File

An army truck moves towards LAC, amid India-China border dispute in eastern Ladakh, in Leh. File

India and China have agreed to hold another round of high-level military talks to take forward the slow-moving disengagement process along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) , which remains only partially complete after four rounds of talks between Corps Commanders.

This was agreed to on Friday after a third convening of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) in the past month, with the disengagement process along the LAC still facing many hurdles. This was the 17th WMCC meeting in eight years, and was held through video-conference.

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A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said both sides agreed it was necessary “to sincerely implement the understandings reached” at the four rounds of Corps Commander-level talks held since June. At the last round on July 14, talks went on for 15 hours, but appeared unable to break the impasse.

Both sides disengaged at standoff points in the Galwan Valley and at Gogra, following an agreement reached at the third round of military talks on June 30.

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Both sides have only disengaged “partially” at Hot Springs and Pangong Tso, where Chinese troops pulled back from the base of Finger 4 but moved to Finger 5, well within India’s side of the LAC at Finger 8.

Corps Commanders will continue meeting to take this process forward, officials agreed on Friday.

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Friday’s talks were led by Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the MEA, and Hong Liang, Director General of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs in China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

 The MEA said both sides agreed that “early and complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (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 smooth overall development of bilateral relations.”

China’s MFA said in a statement both sides “affirmed the positive progress made in disengaging the frontline border troops of the two countries” and would maintain dialogue “through military and diplomatic channels” to “promote further de-escalation”.

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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 5:45:54 am |