In what may be called a major development in the India-China military standoff in eastern Ladakh, both sides have agreed to speed up their efforts for the disengagement of troops and de-escalation of tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) after a conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, while briefing the media, said, “PM Modi highlighted India’s concerns on the unresolved issues along the LAC in the western sector of the India-China border areas. The Prime Minister underlined that the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and observing and respecting the LAC are essential for the normalisation of the India-China relationship.”
“In this regard, the two leaders agreed to direct their relevant officials to intensify efforts at expeditious disengagement and deescalation,” added the Foreign Secretary.
In a statement, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “Two leaders had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on current China-India relations and other questions of shared interest.” It also said that “President Xi stressed that improving China-India relations serves the common interests of the two countries and peoples, and is also conducive to peace, stability, and development of the world and the region.”
It is pertinent to note that earlier this month, the two countries conducted their 19th round of the India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting. In which a joint statement was released, it said, “The two sides had a positive, constructive, and in-depth discussion on the resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in the Western Sector.”
India and China started holding diplomatic and military talks on disengagement and de-escalation of the situation along the LAC in eastern Ladakh soon after the confrontation started between the two militaries. They have been locked in an over-three-year confrontation at certain friction points in eastern Ladakh since May 2020.