India on Friday said it expected China to work jointly for complete disengagement of troops and de-escalation of tension on the Line of Actual Control as agreed by special representatives of both the countries.
On June 15, Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, along the Line of Actual Control on June 15, during which 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed. It was the worst assault between the two countries since 1967. Since then, four round of talks have been held between the commanders of the two armies to work out details of disengagement from the stand-off areas.
In Friday’s media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that the disengagement process was “also necessary and essential in the context of overall development of our bilateral relationship.” Srivastava said both sides have agreed to complete the process “at the earliest” after a meeting was recently held between representatives of the two nations.
Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador Vikram Misri on Friday met Major General Ci Guowei, director of the Office of International Military Cooperation of the Central Military Commission, and briefed him on New Delhi’s stance on the border situation, the Indian embassy in Beijing tweeted. China’s President Xi Jinping is the head of the commission, which controls the armed forces, The Hindustan Times reported.
Srivastava said he had earlier informed that both the countries agreed on “broad principles of disengagement” and some progress was made.
“I must add that translating these principles on [the] ground is a complex process that requires re-deployment of troops by each side towards their regular posts on their respective sides of the LAC,” the ministry spokesperson said. “It is natural that this can be done only through mutually agreed reciprocal actions.”
On the relationship with China, the spokesperson said, “As External Affairs Minister [Subrahmanyam Jaishankar] had noted in a recent interview ‘the state of the border and the future of our ties, cannot be separated.’”
China has reportedly refused to vacate areas along the undefined border that were traditionally patrolled by the Indian Army. The Ministry of External Affairs had said the face-off at eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley was due to China’s attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the area.