India and China have decided to maintain “stability on the ground and prevent any untoward incident” in the border area in eastern Ladakh at the 22nd meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) held on Friday after a gap of over three months.
According to the release by MEA, the two sides agreed to hold the next (12th) round of the Senior Commanders’ meeting at an early date to achieve the objective of complete disengagement from all the friction points along the LAC in the Western Sector in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements and protocols.
India-China meet for 22nd WMCC meeting
MEA said, “The two sides had a frank exchange of views on the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of the India-China Border areas. Both sides agreed on the need to find an early resolution to the remaining issues in eastern Ladakh keeping in view the agreement reached between the two Foreign Ministers in September 2020.”
The External Affairs Minister informed that the two sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through the diplomatic and military mechanism to reach a mutually acceptable solution for complete disengagement from all friction points so as to ensure full restoration and tranquillity to enable progress in the bilateral relations. They also agreed that in the interim, the two sides will continue to ensure stability on the ground and prevent any untoward incident, it added.
The Indian delegation was led by an Additional Secretary (East Asia) from the Ministry of External Affairs. The Director-General of the Boundary & Oceanic Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the Chinese delegation. The meeting took place days after the two Foreign Offices blamed each other for the amassing of troops and military equipment along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Thursday had hit back at its Chinese counterpart Zhao Lijian for stating that the high level of troop and military equipment was a “normal defence arrangement” to prevent and respond to encroachment and threats on China’s territory.
Bagchi had replied by stating that it is “well recognised that it has been the Chinese actions over the last year, including amassing of a large number of troops close to border areas in the Western Sector, and trying to unilaterally alter the status quo along the LAC, which have seriously disturbed peace and tranquillity in the border areas’’.
(Image: ANI, PTI)