Doval speaks to China’s Wang Yi as disengagement begins at LAC

NSA Ajit Doval with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (File)

New Delhi (NVI): National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had a “frank and in-depth exchange of views” with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi yesterday, on the recent developments in the western sector of the India-China borders, as China pulls back its troops in Galwan Valley along LAC, the Ministry of External Affairs said today.

Doval and Wang Yi had a conversation under the Special Representatives (SR) mechanism on the boundary talks, as they both agreed that both sides should take guidance from the consensus of the leaders that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas was essential for the further development of bilateral relations and that two sides should not allow differences to become disputes, MEA said in a statement.

During the telephonic conversation yesterday, the two agreed that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity.

“In this regard they further agreed that both sides should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously,” MEA said.

They reaffirmed the stand taken during earlier diplomatic and military engagement between both sides that a phased and stepwise de-escalation in the India-China border areas has to be ensured.

“They re-affirmed that both sides should strictly respect and observe the line of actual control and should not take any unilateral action to alter the status quo and work together to avoid any incident in the future that could disturb peace and tranquillity in border areas,” the MEA statement read.

Apart from that, the two Special Representatives agreed that the diplomatic and military officials of the two sides should continue their discussions, including under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC), and implement the understandings reached in a timely manner to achieve the above outcomes.

“It was also agreed that the two Special Representatives will continue their conversations to ensure full and enduring restoration of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols,” read the official statement.

Earlier on June 17, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had spoken to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi over the phone and conveyed India’s protest in “strongest terms” on the violent face-off in Galwan Valley in Ladakh on June 15.

In first signs of withdrawal of Chinese troops along LAC in Eastern Ladakh, the PLA has removed tents and dismantled its structures in the Galwan Valley, sources said today.

India and China are currently locked in a bitter standoff at multiple locations in Eastern Ladakh, especially after the June 15 violent clash between the Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives.