External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday and called for an early resolution of the outstanding issues along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh, the Union government said.
The two ministers met in Bali, Indonesia at a conclave of the Group of 20, or G20, nations.
Jaishankar expressed the need to completely disengage from the border areas to maintain peace. “He [Jaishankar] reaffirmed the importance of fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols, and the understandings reached between the two ministers during their previous conversations,” the statement read.
India and China have been locked in a border standoff since their troops clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China had put the number of casualties on its side at four.
So far, India and China have held 15 rounds of commander-level talks to resolve the conflict along the border. The last meeting was held on March 12 in which both sides agreed to maintain “security and stability” on the ground.
On Thursday, the ministers said that the military and diplomatic officials of New Delhi and Beijing should maintain regular contact. They also hoped that the next round of meetings between senior commanders of both countries will be held at an early date.
Jaishankar said that the India-China relationship is best served by observing the three mutuals – mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests.
The foreign minister also discussed the status of Indian students who have not been able to return to China after the Covid-19 restrictions. He reiterated the need for “expediting the process and facilitating the return of students on an early date”.