New Delhi: India and China held “face-to-face” diplomatic talks on Wednesday, focusing on proposals for disengagement in the remaining friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
The talks were described as “frank and open,” with both sides expressing a commitment to restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
The 27th Meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) took place in New Delhi, with the Indian delegation led by the Joint Secretary (East Asia) from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), and the Chinese side led by the Director-General of the Boundary and Oceanic Affairs Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The previous WMCC meeting took place in Beijing on February 22.
During the discussions, the situation along the LAC in the Western Sector of India-China border areas was reviewed, and proposals for disengagement in the remaining areas were deliberated upon.
The MEA released an official statement, affirming that the restoration of peace and tranquility would pave the way for normalizing bilateral relations.
Since May 5, 2020, Indian and Chinese troops have been involved in a standoff in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh.
Despite completing disengagement in several areas through extensive diplomatic and military talks, tensions have persisted.
The clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 marked a significant deterioration in bilateral relations.
In 2021, progress was made as a result of multiple military and diplomatic discussions, leading to the completion of the disengagement process on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.
In April this year, the 18th round of high-level military talks took place, during which India and China agreed to maintain close communication and work towards a mutually acceptable solution to the remaining issues in eastern Ladakh.
Further, Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu visited India in April to attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), during which Defense Minister Rajnath Singh held bilateral discussions with him.
During the talks, Singh emphasized that China’s violation of existing border agreements had undermined the foundation of bilateral ties and stressed the need for resolving all frontier-related issues in accordance with the existing agreements.
Similarly, on May 4, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasized to his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang the importance of resolving the eastern Ladakh border dispute and ensuring peace and tranquillity along the LAC to foster bilateral ties.