NEW DELHI: India and China Wednesday held the
, and again agreed on the need to implement a “consensus” to disengage and also set the stage for the next commander level talks.
of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was seen as useful but still didn’t seem to move the two sides closer to a breakthrough. There remains still no indication of any Chinese plan to withdraw from the contentious
and Depsang areas even as a tense standstill prevails.
Official sources described the talks as useful and significantly India and China agreed that the 7th round of meeting between the senior commanders should be held at the earliest so that both sides can work towards early and complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC in accordance with the “existing bilateral agreement and protocols, and fully restore peace and tranquility”.
Sources said the meeting could happen as early as this week. The meeting, it is understood, has been been sought at the earliest by the Chinese side.
India said in its statement that both sides had agreed the consensus had to be implemented at “all the friction points along the LAC”. This seems intended to clarify that an agreement is needed all along east Ladakh LAC and not just Pangong Tso. After having gained an advantageous position at the lake, India is not keen on giving up the heights it has gained without a complete solution.
The Chinese readout though only said that, while having frank and “in-depth” exchange, the sides agreed to earnestly implement the Moscow consensus and strictly abide by all border agreements.
“The two sides reviewed the current situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the India-China border areas and had frank and detailed discussions on the developments since the last meeting of the WMCC on 20 August, 2020. The two sides attached importance to the meetings between the two Defence Ministers and the two Foreign Ministers held earlier this month,” said the Indian government in its statement.
In this regard, said the government, the two sides positively evaluated the outcome of the 6th Senior Commanders meeting on September 21.
“They emphasised the need to implement the steps outlined in the joint press release issued after the last meeting of the senior commanders so as to avoid misunderstandings and to maintain stability on the ground. In this context, the need to strengthen communication, especially between the ground commanders, was emphasised by both sides,” added the Indian statement.
In Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying that the main topics discussed were how to implement the 5-point consensus reached in Moscow by the two foreign ministers to resolve outstanding issues on the ground and to ease the situation along the border.
On September 21, the Indian and Chinese senior commanders had agreed to “earnestly” implement the “important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen communication on the ground, avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments, stop sending more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground, and avoid taking any actions that may complicate the situation”.