A ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) between Indian and Chinese military personnel on the occasion of “Chinese Spring Festival” was held on Tuesday on the Chinese side of Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Chushul sector of Eastern Ladakh. The delegations, led by Colonel Deependra Jasrotia on the Indian side and Senior Lt. Colonel Bu Hong Dong from the Chinese side, met at a Chinese BPM hut in Moldo garrison of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Ladakh.
As per a statement issued by the army, the ceremony began with both the delegation saluting the National flag, followed by the ceremonial address by both delegation leaders covering exchange of greetings, wishes and vote of thanks which reflected the mutual desire of maintaining and improving relations at functional level at the border. Thereafter, a cultural programme showcasing vibrant Chinese culture and traditional grandeur was organised, followed by lunch.
The statement said that both the delegations interacted in a free, congenial and cordial environment, and parted amidst feeling of friendship and commitment towards enhancing the existing cordial relations and maintaining peace along the LAC. Both sides also sought to build on the mutual feeling to uphold the treaties and agreements signed between the governments of the two sides to maintain peace and tranquillity along the LAC.
The last ceremonial BPM between the two armies was held on the Indian side of LAC on the occasion of Republic Day. It signalled a return of normalcy between the two sides after the ceremonial BPMs were not held on India’s Independence Day last year, when China did not respond to a communication from the Indian side over holding the meeting. This was when Indian and Chinese soldiers were arrayed against each other during the 74-day long faceoff in Doklam plateau.
As per the agreement between India and China, BPMs are held between the two countries at five points — Daulat Beg Oldie in northern Ladakh, Kibithoo in Arunachal Pradesh, Chushul in Ladakh, Bum-La near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and Nathu La in Sikkim.