Eastern Ladakh standoff: Indian, Chinese armies agree to peacefully resolve row

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NEW DELHI: A series of military talks took place between India and China in wake of the tensions over the border issue and both sides have agreed to peacefully resolve the situation in accordance with the various bilateral agreements between the two nations, according to the ministry of external affairs.
The ministry, in a statement, said that in the recent weeks, India and China have maintained communications through established diplomatic and military channels to address the situation in areas along the India-China border.
A meeting was held between the Corps Commander based in Leh and the Chinese Commander on June 6, 2020, in the Chushul-Moldo region.
"It took place in a cordial and positive atmosphere. Both sides agreed to peacefully resolve the situation in the border areas in accordance with various bilateral agreements and keeping in view the agreement between the leaders that peace and tranquillity in the India-China border regions are essential for the overall development of bilateral relations," the ministry added.
Both the sides, the ministry said, noted that this year marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and agreed that an early resolution would contribute to the further development of the relationship.
In their historic informal summit in the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping had underscored the importance of maintaining peace and tranquillity in all areas of the India-China border region in the interest of the development of bilateral relations.
The summit had taken place months after a 73-day military face off in Doklam that raised fears of a war between the two Asian giants.
It said the two sides will continue the military and diplomatic engagements to resolve the situation and to ensure peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
The Indian delegation was led by Lt General Harinder Singh, the general officer commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps, while the Chinese side was headed by the Commander of the Tibet Military District Major General Liu Lin.
It is learnt that Indian delegation pressed for restoration of status quo ante in all sensitive areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) besides seeking withdrawal of additional Chinese troops from the region. The LAC is the de-facto border.
The sources said India was not expecting any "concrete outcome" from the meeting, but considers it important as the high-level military dialogue could pave the way for a negotiated settlement of the tense standoff.
Saturday's talks also came a day after the two countries held diplomatic talks during which both sides agreed to handle their "differences" through peaceful discussions while respecting each other's sensitivities and concerns.
After the standoff began in early last month, the Indian military leadership decided that Indian troops will adopt a firm approach in dealing with the aggressive posturing by Chinese troops in all disputed areas of Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie.
The Chinese Army has been gradually ramping up its strategic reserves in its rear bases near the LAC by rushing in artillery guns, infantry combat vehicles and heavy military equipment, the sources said.
China has also enhanced its presence in certain areas along the Line of Actual Control in Northern Sikkim and Uttarakhand following which India has also bolstered its presence by sending additional troops, they said.
The trigger for the face-off was China's stiff opposition to India laying a key road in a Finger area around the Pangong Tso lake besides construction of another road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley.
The road in the Finger area in Pangong Tso is considered crucial for India to carry out patrol. India has already decided not to stall any border infrastructure projects in eastern Ladakh, in view of Chinese protests.
The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on May 5 and 6. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LAC. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.
Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in border areas.
(With inputs from PTI)In Video:India, China agree to resolve border situation peacefully after military talks

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