India and China hold fresh talks on complete disengagement at LAC with no concrete breakthrough

Chinese President Xi Jinping with PM Modi
Image Source : AP Chinese President Xi Jinping with PM Modi

Beijing: India and China on Wednesday held another round of meetings of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination (WMCC) aiming to resolve the border tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of India-China border areas. According to the statement released by MEA on Thursday, the two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on how to achieve complete disengagement and resolve the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of India-China border areas.

India and China agree to uphold peace in border region  

During the 29th round of meetings, the two South Asian nations agreed to maintain regular contact through diplomatic and military channels. Besides, the officials also agreed on the need to uphold peace and tranquillity on the ground in the border areas in accordance with existing bilateral agreements and protocols.

The meeting was held in the Chinese national capital, Beijing led by a Joint Secretary (East Asia) from the Ministry of External Affairs whereas, from the Chinese side, it was led by the Director General of the Boundary & Oceanic Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is worth mentioning the relations between the two neighbouring nations have nose-dived ever since the forces of both sides engaged in a deadly clash in 2020. Since then, Indian and Chinese military officials along with officials of different departments have been engaging at regular intervals of time. Last time, both sides met in November last year.

India will not compromise on border issues: Jaishankar

Notably, the meeting with the Chinese officials came on the same day when External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who was on a two-day visit to Malaysia, opined a clear stance to ease the border tensions. “My first duty to Indians is to secure the border. I can never compromise on that. Every country wants good relations with its neighbours. Who doesn’t? But every relationship has to be founded on some basis,” Jaishankar said in a reference to India-China border tensions. 

Further, the Minister emphasised he had several rounds of talks with his Chinese counterparts where he cemented India’s strong position over the border issue. “India will not compromise on the border issue,” Jaishankar said, adding the Chinese side has to follow the earlier bilateral agreements in order to restore normalcy.  

“Still negotiating”: Jaishankar

“We’re still negotiating with the Chinese. I talk to my counterpart. We meet from time to time. Our military commanders negotiate with each other. But we are very clear that we had an agreement. There is a Line of Actual Control. We have a tradition of not bringing troops to that line. Both of us have bases some distance away, which is our traditional deployment place. And we want that normalcy,” said Jaishankar. “So that normalcy that returns to where we are in terms of the troop deployment will be the basis for the relationship going forward. And we’ve been very, very honest with the Chinese about it,” he added.

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