India and China on Thursday agreed to “find an early resolution” to the disputes related to the border along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh for disengaging completely from all friction points in the Western Sector, a government statement said.
The two countries have been locked in a border standoff since their troops clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June last year. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China put the number of casualties on its side at four.
The announcement on Thursday followed after the 23rd meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs.
The Indian government said that the two sides held “candid and in-depth discussions” on the situation along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.
“In this regard they agreed 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,” the statement read. “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.”
High-ranking officials from the two countries decided to hold the 14th round of meeting of the senior commanders “at an early date” to ensure that the aim of complete disengagement.
The last meeting of the senior commanders was held on October 10, during which India said that no breakthrough was attained as the “Chinese side was not agreeable and also could not provide any forward-looking proposals”.
During the meeting in October, India told China that its “unilateral attempts to alter the status quo” had led to tensions along the Line of Actual Control.
Meanwhile, two separate sets of satellite images reported about since Wednesday evening have showed that China has been setting up a cluster of buildings in Arunachal Pradesh and multiple villages in Bhutanese territory close to Doklam in Sikkim.
The Doklam plateau, near the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction, was the site of a 74-day-long standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in 2017.