More than 100 days into the military standoff along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, India reached out Friday to the Chinese Central Military Commission to resolve the border crisis, saying the disengagement process has to be completed at the earliest and achieving this “requires agreed actions” by both sides.
India said it expects the Chinese side to “sincerely work” towards the objective of complete disengagement and de-escalation.
Indian ambassador Vikram Misri met Major General Ci Guowei, Director of the Office of International Military Cooperation of the Central Military Commission (CMC), and “briefed him on India’s stance vis-à-vis the situation on the borders in eastern Ladakh UT”, the Indian embassy in Beijing said in a Twitter post.
Misri was accompanied by Deputy Chief of Mission Acquino Vimal and Defence & Army Attaché Colonel Osiris Das.
In New Delhi, Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, said both sides have agreement on “broad principles of disengagement”, and “based on it, some progress had been made earlier”.
“I must add that translating these principles on ground is a complex process that requires redeployment of troops by each side towards their regular posts on their respective sites of the LAC. It is natural that this can be done only through mutually agreed reciprocal actions. While we would like the ongoing disengagement process to be completed at the earliest, it is important to bear in mind that achieving this requires agreed actions by both sides,” Srivastava said.
“We, therefore, expect the Chinese side to sincerely work with us towards the objective of complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas as agreed by the Special Representatives. This is also necessary and essential in the context of overall development of our bilateral relationship. As External Affairs Minister had noted in a recent interview, ‘The state of the border, and the future of our ties cannot be separated’,” Srivastava said.
Misri’s meeting with Major General Ci Guowei comes two days after he met Liu Jianchao, a key interlocutor and Deputy Director of the Office of the CPC Central Committee Foreign Affairs Commission.
South Block feels that diplomatic and military positions have hardened on both sides. It, therefore, wants to engage with the top echelon of the Central Military Commission.
The CMC is the apex military body of China and has President Xi Jinping as its head and six other members. The CMC of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are actually two separate bodies, with the same 7-member leadership.
The command and control of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) is with the CMC of the CPC Central Committee.
Under Xi, it has two Vice-Chairmen: Xu Qiliang and Zhang Youxia. The other four members are Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe, General Li Zuocheng, Admiral Miao Hua and General Zhang Shengmin.
When Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Beijing in October last year – it was just before Xi’s visit to Mahabalipuram for the informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi — he met CMC Vice Chairman Xu Qiliang and briefed him on the significance of India ending the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.
Xu is considered extremely close to Xi. He worked with Xi in the capital of Fujian province in the early 1990s, winning Xi’s political trust.
Sources in New Delhi said efforts are also being made to reach out to Xu, who is said to be keeping a close watch on the LAC situation.