Top military commanders of India, China meet over stand-off

An Indian Army convoy passes through treacherous routes in Ladakh (File photo)

New Delhi: Top military officials of India and China met today at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh sector to discuss ways to defuse the stand-off which has been going on for a month now.

At the meeting held at the level of Lt General, the Indian side was led by Commander of Leh-based 14 Corps Lt Gen Harinder Singh. This meeting took place after the ones at lower levels, including at the level of Major General, did not result in any resolution.

The military stand-off in the Ladakh sector was triggered after China objected to construction of a road by India on its side of the LAC, claiming that it is their territory. Since then, both sides have mobilised thousands of troops who are in eyeball-to-eyeball situation.

However, efforts are on through military and diplomatic channels to defuse the situation.

In this regard, senior officials of the foreign ministries of the two countries held talks yesterday and both sides agreed that they should handle the differences through “peaceful discussion”.

The talks were held via video conference between Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Indian External Affairs Ministry and Wu Jianghao, Director General in Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two sides reviewed the state of bilateral relations including the current developments, the External Affairs Ministry said, clearly referring to the LAC stand-off.

“In this context they recalled the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, that peaceful, stable and balanced relations between India and China will be a positive factor for stability in the current global situation,” the MEA said.

“Both sides also agreed that in accordance with the guidance provided by the leadership, the two sides should handle their differences through peaceful discussion bearing in mind the importance of respecting each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations and not allow them to become disputes,” it added.

Apart from that, the two sides also exchanged views on the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and cooperation in various multilateral forums, the Ministry said.

Sun Weidong, Chinese Ambassador to India who also was part of the discussions over video conference, said the two sides agreed that they “should follow the strategic guidance of the two leaders, put into action that China & India pose no threat to each other & represent development opportunities for each other, & differences should not be turned into disputes.”