At the end of talks between the military commanders of India and China on Saturday, both sides have agreed to resolve the current border issue in eastern Ladakh peacefully and in accordance with various agreements already in place.
In an official statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs on Sunday morning, it stated, “India and China have decided to peacefully resolve the situation in the border areas in accordance with various bilateral agreements.”
In the talks on Saturday, the Indian side was led by Lt Gen Harinder Singh, Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps and the Chinese were led by Maj Gen Liu Lin, Commander of the South Xinjiang military region. The meeting which had started at around 11.30 am on Saturday, took place at the Border Personnel Meeting Point in Maldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and lasted for almost six hours including the lunch break.
This is the 70th year of diplomatic relations between the two countries and “an early resolution will help in the further development of the relationship,” the MEA statement said.
According to sources, there was no major breakthrough and the stage is set for further talks to resolve the tensions along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.
What did India ask for?
Restoration of status quo ante before May what India’s demand. As has been reported extensively, from May 5-6, the Chinese side has gradually been moving in large numbers in the Indian territory. The Chinese troops have been at Pangong Tso, Galwan and Gogra in eastern Ladakh.
India also asked for the de-induction of the troops who have entered the Indian Territory.
The Chinese build-up at Finger 4 of Pangong Tso up to the point where India has always held territory, while it claims areas as far as Finger 8.
China has gradually been moving heavy armour and artillery close to the LAC on its side. This is actually against the boundary agreements between the two countries.
What took so long for a statement to be released?
As per the procedure, once the talks are over, both sides have to finalise the minutes of the meeting. Thereafter, the delegations return, followed by the Corps Commander giving an update to the Northern Army Commander and the Army Chief before any statement is released.
For almost a month, there have been several rounds of meetings at the military and the diplomatic level between the two countries. There have been no solutions so far.
On the diplomatic level, late Friday evening, there was a video conference between Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia), Ministry of External Affairs, and Wu Jianghao, Director-General of Asia Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.
Meanwhile, to oversee the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Ground Forces along the India border, the Chinese side on June 1 appointed a new commander. Now, Lt Gen Xu Qiling has been appointed as the new commander of the PLA Western Theater Command Ground Force and will report to General Zhao Zongqi, commander of China’s Western Theatre.