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India, China to ease tension, de-escalate

External Affairs MinisterS. Jaishankar in New Delhi on Wednesday.PTI

External Affairs MinisterS. Jaishankar in New Delhi on Wednesday.PTI  

Jaishankar speaks to Wang Yi

India and China on Wednesday agreed not to escalate matters along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), following a conversation between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Stark differences, however, remained in how both sides described the unprecedented events of June 15, and the clash that claimed the lives of at least 20 Indian soldiers in the worst violence along the border since 1967.

Following the call, it was agreed that both sides would deal with the situation in a “responsible manner” and “neither side would take any action to escalate matters and instead, ensure peace and tranquillity as per bilateral agreements and protocols,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) quoted Mr. Jaishankar as saying.

A statement issued by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Beijing said both sides agreed “to cool down the situation”. “The two sides agreed to deal fairly with the serious events caused by the conflict in the Galwan Valley, jointly abide by the consensus reached at the military-level meetings of the two sides, cool down the situation on the ground as soon as possible, and maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas in accordance with the agreement reached so far between the two countries,” said the statement.

The two statements also underlined serious differences remain over what happened on June 15. The MEA said Mr. Jaishankar “conveyed the protest of the Government of India in the strongest terms” and “underlined that this unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship”.

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