Will ensure complete disengagement of troops at LAC: India-China officials at WMCC

New Delhi (NVI): In another round of diplomatic level talks, officials from India and China today said that they will ensure complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas, in accordance with bilateral agreements and protocols.

The 16th India-China meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was held today.

Senior officials from the two sides reviewed the situation in the India-China border areas including the progress made in ongoing disengagement process along the LAC in the Western Sector. They agreed that it was necessary for both sides to sincerely implement the understandings reached between Senior Commanders, MEA said.

During the virtual meeting, the two sides also recalled the agreement reached between the two Foreign Ministers on June 17 as well as the agreement between two Special Representatives (SRs) during their telephonic conversation on July 5.

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.

The SR-level talks were held on July 5 between National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and Wang Yi on the recent developments in the western sector of the India-China borders, which has witnessed the withdrawal of Chinese troops in Galwan Valley along LAC, after a long stand-off.

At today’s crucial meeting, the two sides also agreed that “for the overall development of bilateral relations, it was essential to maintain enduring peace and tranquillity in the border areas.”

“As agreed by the two SRs, the Senior Commanders will meet soon to discuss further steps so as to ensure complete disengagement and de-escalation in a timely manner,” the External Affairs Ministry said.

The two sides also agreed to maintain ongoing communication, both at the diplomatic and military level to ensure early resolution of the situation. In this context they agreed to hold another meeting of the WMCC in the near future, MEA added.

At today’s diplomatic level meet, the Indian delegation was led by Joint Secretary (East Asia) from the Ministry of External Affairs, while the Director General of the Boundary & Oceanic Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the Chinese delegation, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

In first signs of withdrawal of Chinese troops along LAC in Eastern Ladakh earlier this week, the PLA removed tents and dismantled its structures in the disputed area.

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.

-ARK