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India, China agree on early resolution of LAC issues

The MEA statement comes after the 23rd meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi |
Updated: November 19, 2021 7:39:30 am
India China talks, MEA on China, india china statement,Troops have disengaged on the north and south banks of Pangong Tso and Gogra Post, but not at Hot Springs. (File picture for representation)

A month after the failed 13th round of Corps Commander-level talks led to a hardening of positions on both sides, New Delhi said that Indian and Chinese diplomats had on Thursday agreed on the “need to find an early resolution to the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols so as to restore peace and tranquility”.

They also agreed that “both sides should in the interim also continue to ensure a stable ground situation and avoid any untoward incident,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement after the 23rd meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) through video-conference.According to the MEA statement, the two sides recalled the agreement between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Dushanbe in September that military and diplomatic officials should continue discussions to resolve outstanding issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.

“Accordingly, the two sides had candid and in-depth discussions on the situation along the LAC in Western Sector of India-China Border Areas and also reviewed the developments since the last meeting of the Senior Commanders of both sides which was held on 10th October 2021,” the MEA statement said.

“It was agreed that both sides should hold the next (14th) round of the Senior Commanders meeting at an early date to achieve the objective of complete disengagement from all the friction points along the LAC in the Western Sector in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements and protocols,” it said.

The statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the two sides had stated that “in accordance with the spirit of the consensus reached between the Foreign Ministers of both countries in their Dushanbe meetings, continuous efforts would be made to further de-escalate the border situation, and they would strive to shift from urgent dispute settlement to regular management and control at an early date”.

The Chinese statement echoed India’s description of the talks, saying the two sides had a “candid and in-depth” exchange of views on the “recent developments in the China-India border areas, and agreed to consolidate the existing outcomes of the disengagement, strictly abide by the agreements and protocols and the consensus reached between the two sides, prevent the situation on the ground from relapsing”.

The 13th round of Corps Commander-level talks took place at the Moldo border personnel meeting point near Chushul on October 10, a year-and-a-half into the military standoff in Eastern Ladakh, to try and resolve the situation at Hot Springs.

The following day, India and China had their sharpest exchange since the Galwan Valley clash in June 2020. Troops have continued to face each other at Hot Springs ever since the Chinese crossed the LAC in May 2020.

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