India and China on Friday agreed to continue working towards ensuring complete disengagement of soldiers along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, reported PTI.
“The two sides agreed that based on the guidance provided by senior leaders and the agreements reached between the two Foreign Ministers and Special Representatives, they would continue to work towards ensuring complete disengagement in all friction points along the LAC in the Western sector at the earliest,” it said in a statement.
The discussions between the two sides were held under the framework of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs. The Indian foreign affairs ministry said the two countries also reviewed the developments along the LAC since the last round of the WMCC talks on September 30.
“The two sides noted that the seventh and eighth rounds of senior commanders meetings held on October 12 and November 6 respectively had in-depth discussions in this regard and that these discussions had also contributed to ensuring stability on the ground,” the Indian external affairs ministry said in a statement, according to PTI.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Thursday said the two sides continue to keep in touch through diplomatic and military channels and these deliberations have helped both the countries to enhance understanding of each other’s stand on the border conflict.
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.
On December 11, India had blamed China for the ongoing border standoff between the two countries, claiming that it tried to effect a “unilateral change” in the eastern Ladakh region. This came two days after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the ties between the neighbours are passing through their most difficult phase, claiming that Beijing has offered “five differing explanations” for violating agreements on maintaining peace.
On December 8, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that the country was working with India for “further de-escalation” in Ladakh.