Saturday, 04 December 2021

China, India agree to relax military standoff in eastern Ladakh

China, India agree to relax military standoff in eastern Ladakh

On Thursday, China and India agreed to ease down the ongoing military standoff along LAC in eastern Ladakh by shifting from emergency reply to “normalised command” of the disputed boundary, an announcement from the Chinese foreign ministry department said.

Both sides have agreed to “consolidate” the results in the region where troop disengagement has taken place and preparing for and hold the 14th round of military talks shortly, the ministry said.

The announcement was issued after the 23rd round of the Working (WMCC) Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on border affairs held via a video connection on Thursday.

There was no rise in the Chinese statement of disengagement of troops from the remaining areas of resistance such as Hot Springs and Depsang. Both sides have been locked in a military standoff for more than 18 months, with bilateral ties plummeting to their worst in ten years.

“Both sides expressed that in accordance with consensus spirit of the Dushanbe meet between the two foreign ministers, they will continue to work firmly to further ease the border situation and aim to shift from emergency reply to normalised control as soon as possible,” the Chinese foreign ministry statement said.

The shift from “emergency reply” to “normalised control” was a repeat of what state councilor and foreign minister Wang Yi had told S Jaishankar external affairs minister during a meeting in Dushanbe in September. “The two sides had a in-depth exchange of views on the recent situation in the India-China border region, and agreed to consolidate the existing withdrawal results, strictly abide by the agreements and unity reached between the two sides, and avoid recurrences in the current situation,” the statement said.

China India agree to relax military standoff in eastern Ladakh 1unsplash image

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The Chinese statement added.

“Both sides agreed to maintain communication and dialogue through diplomatic and military channels, actively prepare for the 14th round of military commander-level talks, and make efforts to resolve the remaining issues in the western section of the India-China border,”

In October, the last round of military talks between India and China had stalled after Beijing said New Delhi had made “unreasonable and unrealistic demands.”

The meeting between China’s South Xinjiang military district commander and India’s Ladakh corps commander took place on the Moldo-Chushul border area meeting point, the Chinese side of the border.

A brief statement issued by China’s western theatre command (WTC) and published by many state-run media outlets gave little details of the communication but struck a critical note.

India has consistently and repeatedly rejected China’s allegations that Indian troops crossed over to the Chinese side of the LAC in eastern Ladakh, asserting that New Delhi has always taken a responsible approach towards border management and maintaining peace and tranquility in the border areas.

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