Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 6
A conversation between top Indian and Chinese officials for border affairs had facilitated Monday’s readjustment of force postures on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at several places in eastern Ladakh.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor-cum- Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke on Sunday evening for close to two hours by video conferencing during which they agreed on the need to quickly withdraw in the interest of bilateral ties.
The two — designated Special Representatives of India and China for Border Affairs — agreed on the full restoration of peace and tranquillity by quickly completing the disengagement in a phased and stepwise manner, said a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement on the talks.
In contrast to the Chinese readout, the Indian side refrained from the blame game and wanted both sides to strictly respect and observe the LAC while not taking any unilateral action to alter the status quo. Both sides need to work together by utilising the existing diplomatic mechanism of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (which did not meet for over a year till it was activated last month), it noted.
The Chinese readout, while affirming the need for dialogue and forbearance to sort out difficulties on the LAC also maintained that right and wrong of what recently happened at the Galwan Valley “is very clear”.
“China will continue firmly safeguarding territorial sovereignty as well as peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” Wang reportedly told Doval while obliquely commenting on the war phobia generated in the Indian media and calls to crack down on trade ties with China.
“We hope India can work with China to guide public opinion in the right direction… avoid amplifying differences and complicating matters,” he said while calling for the boundary question to be placed “properly” in the overall context of bilateral relations and avoiding an escalation from differences to disputes.
Both sides agreed that they would be guided by the consensus between PM Modi and Xi Jinping that a calm border was essential for the further development of bilateral relations.
“Therefore, they agreed that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops,” said the MEA statement.
It was also agreed that the two Special Representatives will continue their conversations to ensure full and enduring restoration of peace and tranquillity.
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