Months into a tense border stand-off, India and China foreign ministers in Moscow said they have reached a five-point consensus over de-escalation and would take steps to restore “peace and tranquility” at LAC, reports said.
The two sides were “in consonance” that the current border situation is not in their interests and that troops from both sides should quickly disengage and ease tensions, said a joint statement.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting last evening. Talks between the two sides continued for about two hours, sources said.
India highlighted its “strong concern at the massing of Chinese troops with equipment along the Line of Actual Control”, the de facto border between the two countries, sources say.
“The provocative behaviour of Chinese frontline troops at numerous incidents of friction along the LAC also showed disregard for bilateral agreements and protocols,” Beijing was told.
“The presence of such a large concentration of troops was not in accordance with the 1993 and 1996 agreements and created flash points along the LAC. The Chinese side has not provided a credible explanation for this deployment,” the Foreign Minister told China at the meeting.
The immediate task is “to prevent any untoward incident in the future” and “ensure a comprehensive disengagement of troops in all the friction areas,” India told China, reports said.
Wang reportedly told Jaishankar that the “imperative is to immediately stop provocations such as firing and other dangerous actions that violate the commitments made by the two sides”. He also said it was important to move back all personnel and equipment that have trespassed. “The frontier troops must quickly disengage so that the situation may de-escalate,” China said in its statement.
The two sides met at the highest level amid a fresh stand-off at the southern bank of Pangong Tso after Chinese soldiers armed with spears and rifles tried to close in on Indian forward posts on Monday, allegedly to force a fight similar to the June 14 clash at Galwan in which 20 Indian soldiers died for the country.
In the latest flare-up, shots were fired in the air for the first time along the LAC in 45 years.
India-China relations have “once again come to a crossroads”, Wang said. “As two large developing countries emerging rapidly, what China and India need right now is cooperation, not confrontation; and mutual trust, not suspicion. Whenever the situation gets difficult, it is all the more important to ensure the stability of the overall relationship and preserve mutual trust,” said the China statement.