India, China conclude talks on border mechanism

India and China on Friday concluded two-day talks on border mechanism here during which they discussed ways to prevent incidents like last month's standoff between their armies in Ladakh from recurring in future and reached consensus on early implementation of several CBMs.

PTI| Updated: Oct 17, 2014, 22:36 PM IST

New Delhi: India and China on Friday concluded two-day talks on border mechanism here during which they discussed ways to prevent incidents like last month's standoff between their armies in Ladakh from recurring in future and reached consensus on early implementation of several CBMs.

After the talks, the External Affairs Ministry said the confidence building measures (CBMs) include inter-alia regular interaction between the Army Headquarters and Field Commands of the two sides; additional border personnel meeting points; and more telecommunication linkages between forward posts of the two sides at mutually agreed locations.

Held under the framework of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), the talks discussed various issues pertaining to the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas.

"These measures are expected to assist in the timely and effective management of situations that may arise on the border," the ministry said and maintained the talks were held in a frank and constructive manner.

In a statement, the ministry also said that both sides discussed border-related issues following the successful termination of the recent standoff in the Western Sector and emphasized the importance of this mechanism and agreed that it had become one of the primary instruments for management of boundary affairs.

The Indian delegation was led by Pradeep Kumar Rawat, Joint Secretary (East Asia) and comprised representatives of the Ministries of External Affairs, Defence and Home Affairs as well as members of the Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

The Chinese delegation was led by Ouyang Yujing, Director General, Department of Boundary and Oceanic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and comprised representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defence.

The meeting which is the first interaction between the two sides after the new government in India took office came in the backdrop of China sharply reacting to India's plans to construct a road network along the McMahon line in Arunachal Pradesh. 

Chinese government also expressed hope that India will not take any action which may complicate the situation before a final settlement is reached to end the boundary dispute and is expected to convey the same to the Indian side during the talks.

On India's part, the Chinese incursion which lasted over three weeks last month in Demchok and Chumar remains a high priority concern and was discussed during the talks, according to sources.

The Chinese incursion had overshadowed the talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month when latter raised "serious concerns" over the repeated incidents along the border and sought an early settlement of the boundary question.

Established in 2012, the Mechanism has played a major role in addressing the issues arising of aggressive patrolling by both sides of the disputed border including last year's standoff at Depsang Valley.

The meeting also deliberated upon issues of mutual interests concerning boundary patrolling and management.

The Mechanism is co-chaired by the Joint Secretary (in-charge of China division) in the External Affairs Ministry and his Chinese counterpart.

The mandate of the WMCC comprised foreign ministry and defence officials from both sides to discuss issues related to border management by both sides to maintain peace and not the boundary dispute which is discussed by Special Representatives.