India and China on Friday agreed to handle their differences through peaceful discussions while respecting each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations and not allow them to become disputes”. The diplomatic talks come a day ahead of the meeting between senior Indian and Chinese military leaders to resolve the border standoff.

Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary, East Asia, Naveen Srivastava spoke to the Director General in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wu Jianghao via video conference.

“The two sides reviewed the state of bilateral relations including the current developments,” a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said. “In this context they recalled the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, that peaceful, stable and balanced relations between India and China will be a positive factor for stability in the current global situation.”

Srivastava and the Chinese diplomat also exchanged views on the challenges posed due to the coronavirus pandemic and discussed cooperation in various multilateral forums, according to the statement.

Over the last three weeks, Chinese troops have clashed with the Indian Army at several points along the Line of Actual Control. India and China do not share a defined and demarcated border. Instead, there is the Line of Actual Control, which stretches thousands of kilometres from Ladakh all the way to Arunachal Pradesh.

On Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had admitted that a “sizeable number” of Chinese troops have moved into eastern Ladakh. He said India was taking all steps necessary to deal with the situation. This was the Indian government’s first acknowledgement that Chinese troops had entered Indian territory.

Singh had highlighted that the 74-day standoff in Doklam between the two countries was resolved through talks. “We have found solutions to similar situations in the past as well,” he said. “Talks at the military and diplomatic levels were on to resolve the current issue. India does not hurt pride of any country and at the same time, it does not tolerate any attempt to hurt its own pride.”

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