India and China have emphasised the need for an expeditious, phased and stepwise de-escalation, as a priority, during the military talks between both the nations, said sources on Wednesday. The border tension between the countries escalated on June 15 when 20 Indian Army personnel were martyred after violent clashes with Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh.
The sources further added that the meet between India and China on June 30 was "held in a businesslike manner keeping in view the coronavirus COVID-19 protocols" and the "discussions reflected the commitment of both sides to reduce the tensions along the LAC".
More meetings are expected both at the military and at the diplomatic level, in future, to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution and to ensure peace and tranquillity along the LAC as per bilateral agreements and protocols, added the sources. Indian Army sources recalling the June 17 border mechanism meet said, "both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of June 6 sincerely".
After the June 15 clashes, while China has acknowledged casualties on their side, it has not specified the numbers. Beijing has not made any official statement on the casualties suffered by the People's Liberation Army during the face-off with the Indian Army.
India, on its part, categorically rejected Beijing’s untenable claims regarding the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and said that it contradicts its earlier stand on the issue. The Minister of External Affairs claimed that since early May 2020, the Chinese side has been hindering India's normal, traditional patrolling pattern in the area.
“Since early May 2020, Chinese have been hindering India's normal patrolling pattern in the area. This resulted in face-off which was addressed by ground commanders. We don't accept the contention that India was unilaterally changing status quo, we were maintaining it,” the MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
He also added that the “Indian troops are fully familiar with the alignment of the LAC in all sectors of India-China border areas, including the GalwanValley. They abide by it scrupulously here, as they do elsewhere.”
The MEA Spokesperson also categorically rejected China’s claim that India was unilaterally changing the status quo. Taking further retaliatory steps, The Narendra Modi government on Monday imposed a ban on 59 Chinese mobile Apps.