The disengagement along the disputed Line of Actual Control by both India and China on Monday came a day after the telephonic conversation between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The Ministry of External Affairs said that the special representatives from both sides agreed to complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously.
Both sides pulled back troops from the site of the June 15 clashes at Galwan Valley in Ladakh, which claimed the lives of at least 20 Indian personnel in the worst violence on the border since 1975. While China also lost personnel, it has not yet given figures. A buffer zone has been reportedly created between the soldiers of both countries.
“The two special representatives agreed that both sides should take guidance from the consensus of the leaders that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas was essential for the further development of our bilateral relations and that two sides should not allow differences to become disputes,” the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement.
The MEA added that Doval and Wang agreed that the diplomatic and military officials of both the countries should continue their discussions for restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas as per the bilateral agreements and protocols. The military commanders of the two nations have already held three rounds of talks, which have all been inconclusive.
“Therefore, they agreed that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity,” the statement said. “In this regard they further agreed that both sides should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously. The two sides should also ensure a phased and stepwise de-escalation in the India-China border areas.”
Doval and the Chinese minister reiterated that both sides should also strictly respect and observe the LAC and not take any unilateral action to alter the status quo.
The foreign ministry said both the special representatives had a “frank and in-depth exchange of views” during their conversation.
The pullback on Monday also came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to the Union Territory of Ladakh on July 3. Modi had praised the Indian troops and visited a hospital where injured soldiers were recuperating.