China on Tuesday said that it was working with India for “further de-escalation” along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, PTI reported. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said both countries would have consultations to determine specific arrangements for the next round of talks.
Since the border standoff began in early May, India and China have had eight rounds of Corps Commander-level talks. The discussions, however, have hit a stalemate after some initial disengagement. Both sides have made preparations to maintain thousands of troops and equipment in sub-zero conditions, reports said.
“China and India have been in communication through diplomatic and military channels on the border issue and we are working for further de-escalation of the border situation,” Hua said. “Based on the implementation of current consensus, we will have consultations to determine specific arrangements for further talks.”
Last week, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that the core concern in the border standoff was the need to strictly adhere to bilateral agreements to maintain peace along the LAC.
On November 26, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said India was not a soft target any longer. He had added that dialogue with Beijing will continue but “countries should not be expansionist”.
The tensions along the Line of Actual Control started with initial scuffles that led to a pitched battle – without firearms – in June that saw 20 Indian soldiers killed. Beijing, however, refused to release casualty numbers on its side. Both India and China have accused each other of crossing into rival territory and of firing shots for the first time in 45 years.