NEW DELHI: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday (July 24, 2020) said that both India and China fully agree over complete disengagement of troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which is vital for the smooth development of bilateral ties.
The External Affairs Ministry issued a statement on the India-China border talks in which it said, “Both sides agreed that early, complete disengagement of troops along LAC is key for smooth development of ties.”
The MEA statement further stated that the “two sides agreed it is necessary to sincerely implement understandings reached between senior commanders in meetings.” “Both sides agreed that full restoration of peace and tranquillity in border areas was essential for overall ties,” the MEA release said.
The MEA release said, ''The two sides reviewed the situation in the India-China border areas and the ongoing disengagement process along the Line of Actual Control (LAC )in the Western Sector. They agreed that early and complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and de-escalation from India-China border areas in accordance with bilateral agreement and protocols and full restoration of peace and tranquillity was essential for the smooth overall development of bilateral relations.''
''The two sides noted that this was in accordance with the agreement reached between the two Special Representatives (SRs) during their telephonic conversation on 5 July 2020. They agreed in this regard that it was necessary for both sides to sincerely implement the understandings reached between Senior Commanders in their meetings till date.''
''The two sides agreed that another meeting of the Senior Commanders may be held soon so as to work out further steps to ensure expeditiously complete disengagement and de-escalation and restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas.'' the MEA statement read.
It further stated that the two sides also agreed to maintain their ongoing engagements both at the diplomatic and military levels, including through the meetings of WMCC.
The 17th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was held on 24 July 2020. The Indian delegation was led by Joint Secretary (East Asia) from the Ministry of External Affairs, while the Director-General of the Boundary & Oceanic Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the Chinese delegation.
The crucial meeting was held to break the logjam and pave the way for another round of Corps Commander-level meet.
A day ahead of the talks, India had on Thursday categorically asked China to sincerely work for complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquillity on the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh at the earliest.
This was the third round of virtual meet between over LAC border de-escalation between the two countries in last one month. The first round of talks took place on June 24 followed by second on July 10.
India on Thursday asserted that the maintenance of peace and tranquillity along LAC is the basis of its bilateral relationship with China, and said that it expected the Chinese side to be sincere in completing the disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh.
"It is our expectation that the Chinese side will sincerely work with us for complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas at the earliest as agreed to by the Special Representatives," MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
He said another round of diplomatic talks under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) is expected to be scheduled soon. "We have also made it clear that India is fully committed to observing and respecting the LAC and that we will not accept any unilateral attempts to change the status quo along the LAC," said Srivastava.
He said the two sides have agreed during the conversation of the Special Representatives to work towards complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity.
National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a nearly two-hour-long telephonic conversation on July 5 to bring down the tension between the armies of the two countries in eastern Ladakh. Both sides began the disengagement process from July 6 following the talks between Doval and Wang who were Special Representatives for the boundary question.