India on Thursday emphasised to China the need to implement the actions they have agreed on in the conflict along the Line of Actual Control, in order to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff, the Hindustan Times reported. The Chinese defence ministry had said that India should “look at the big picture” and work with Beijing to bring the relationship back on track.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava referred to remarks made by Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, who said that several border incidents in the past had been resolved through diplomacy. Indian and Chinese troops clashed in Galwan Valley in Ladakh on June 15, leading to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and an unidentified number of their Chinese counterparts.
“When it comes to finding a solution, this must be predicated on honouring all agreements and understandings,” Jaishankar had said. He said no country should attempt to change the status quo unilaterally.
Jaishankar had said on Wednesday that the India-China situation on the border was the “most serious since 1962” when the two countries went to war. On August 21, the Ministry of External Affairs had said India and China have agreed to resolve all outstanding problems in an “expeditious manner”.
Srivastava pointed out that India also believes that complete disengagement requires redeployment of troops by both sides “towards their regular posts on their respective sides of the Line of Actual Control”. “It is natural that this can be done only through mutually agreed reciprocal actions,” he said. “Thus, it is important to bear in mind that achieving this requires agreed actions by both sides.”
The Indian and Chinese sides have held several meetings through the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination, or WMCC, to disengage on the border. Srivastava said that in the last meeting on August 20, the two sides reaffirmed that they will “continue to sincerely work towards complete disengagement of the troops” in line with agreements reached by the foreign ministers of the two countries and their Special Representatives during their conversation on July 5.
“Both sides also agree that full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas would be essential for the overall development of bilateral relations,” Srivastava said. “The two sides had also agreed to continue their engagements both through diplomatic and military channels.”
Meanwhile, Chinese defence ministry spokesperson Colonel Wu Qiang said in Beijing that India should “avoid misjudgement, keep divergences from escalating into disputes, and take concrete steps to bring the bilateral relations back to the right track of normal development”. Thus, Wu’s statement put the ball in India’s court to restore normalcy in relations.