The Centre said that India and China on Friday decided to ensure “complete disengagement” of troops along the disputed Line of Actual Control for “full restoration” of peace and tranquility in the border areas.
The Ministry of External Affairs said talks were held with Beijing under the framework of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs. The Indian delegation was led by foreign ministry joint secretary (East Asia) Naveen Srivastava, while the Chinese side was headed by the director general of the boundary and oceanic department.
The disengagement between both India and China began after the phone conversation between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on July 5. On Monday, both the countries had pulled back troops from the site of 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.
“The two sides recalled the agreement reached between the two foreign ministers on June 17 as well as the agreement between two special representatives during their telephonic conversation on July 5, and reaffirmed that both sides will ensure complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas in accordance with bilateral agreements and protocols,” a statement by the foreign ministry said.
It added that both countries agreed it was necessary to maintain peace in the border areas for the development of bilateral relations. “They reviewed the situation in the India-China border areas including the progress made in ongoing disengagement process along the LAC in the Western Sector,” the foreign ministry statement said.
The ministry added that both sides agreed it was necessary to sincerely implement the understandings reached between senior commanders. “The two sides also agreed to maintain the ongoing communication both at the diplomatic and military level to ensure early resolution of the situation. In this context they agreed to hold another meeting of the WMCC in the near future,” it said.
Reports said that Chinese frontline troops have fully moved out of the Patrolling Point 15 of the Hot Springs area in eastern Ladakh as part of the disengagement process to reduce tensions.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the Narendra Modi government should listen to defence veterans and allow an independent fact-finding mission to “identify incursion, intrusion and encroachment” by China. Gandhi was referring to a statement issued by a group of 144 Armed Forces veterans on July 2, calling for a revamp of India’s intelligence system.