New Delhi: India and China on Thursday agreed on the need to find an early resolution to the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh and to hold the next round of the Senior Commanders meeting at an early date.
During the 23rd meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) held via video link Thursday, the two sides recalled the agreement between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi during their meeting in September in Dushanbe on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, that military and diplomatic officials of the two sides should continue their discussions to resolve the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control (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.
“In this regard they 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.
“The two sides also agreed that both sides should in the interim also continue to ensure a stable ground situation and avoid any untoward incident,” said an official statement.
The Indian delegation was led by Naveen Srivastava, Additional Secretary (East Asia) from the Ministry of External Affairs. The Chinese side was led by Hong Liang, Director General of the Boundary & Oceanic Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Representatives from departments related to diplomacy, national defence and immigration of both countries attended the meeting.
“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,” the MEA statement said.
The eastern Ladakh is officially referred to as Western Sector.
A readout of the meeting by the Chinese embassy, said the two sides “would strive to shift from urgent dispute settlement to regular management and control at an early date”, and also “prevent the situation on the ground from relapsing.”
“The two sides 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 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.”
”Both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through diplomatic and military channels, actively prepare for the 14th round of Senior Commanders Meeting, and make efforts to settle the remaining issues in the western sector of the China-India border,” it said.