India and China agreed on Thursday on the “need to find an early resolution to the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols so as to restore peace and tranquility”.
A statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), issued after the 23rd round of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs held via video link, said: “The two sides also agreed that both sides should in the interim also continue to ensure a stable ground situation and avoid any untoward incident.”
A month earlier, at the 13th round of Corps Commander-level talks, India and China had made no headway on the military standoff festering for more than 18 months.
But on Thursday, the Chinese foreign ministry stated: “The two sides expressed that in accordance with the consensus spirit of the Dushanbe meeting between the two foreign ministers, they will continue to work hard to further ease the border situation and strive to shift from emergency response to normalised control as soon as possible.”
It added that the two sides have agreed to “consolidate” the results in the areas where troop disengagement has taken place and prepare for and hold the 14th round of military talks soon.
There was no mention in the Chinese statement of disengagement of troops from the remaining areas of friction such as Depsang and Hot Springs, it was noted.
The Indian delegation was led by Additional Secretary (East Asia) from the MEA, while the Chinese delegation was led by the Director General of the Boundary & Oceanic Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The two sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through diplomatic and military channels, actively prepare for the 14th round of military commander-level talks, and make efforts to resolve the remaining issues in the western section of the China-India border,” the Chinese statement said.