After talks between Indian and Chinese army commanders on Saturday, the Ministry of External Affairs has said that the two countries have agreed to “peacefully resolve” the standoff in Ladakh in accordance with various bilateral agreements.
In a statement, the MEA said that military and diplomatic dialogue will continue to resolve the situation in eastern Ladakh.
“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 MEA statement said.
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Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, chief of Leh-based 14 Corps Commander, and Major General Liu Lin, Commander of South Xinjiang Military Region, held discussions in the Chushul-Moldo region on Saturday for resolving the standoff. The meeting, according to reports, lasted for around five hours.
The MEA statement said that the meeting between army commanders took place in a “cordial and positive atmosphere”. Referring to the informal meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the statement added that the border situation will be resolved keeping in view the agreement between the leaders that peace and tranquillity in the India-China border regions is essential for the overall development of bilateral relations
“Both sides 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,” it said.
According to media reports, during the talks, the Indian side asked China to restore the status quo of April 2020 at the LAC in the Ladakh sector. They also asked the Chinese to reduce the build-up of its troops at the LAC and revert back to the status quo of April in Pangong Tso, Hot Springs and Galwan Valley.
The Chinese side, on the other hand, reportedly objected to road construction by India at the LAC that boosted Indian Army’s capability to mobilise troops much faster in the mountainous terrain of Ladakh.
According to strategic experts, the current standoff in Ladakh is not the usual patrolling faceoff but part of the new combative strategy that was rolled out by China after the 73-day standoff between Indian and China in Doklam sector in 2017. They insist that the standoff was not a spontaneous reaction to India’s road construction in Ladakh.