India and China on Friday held “in-depth discussions” on the remaining matters along the Line of Actual Control in the western sector, ANI reported, quoting the ministry of external affairs. The talks were held under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs.
In a statement released by the foreign ministry, it said that the disengagement in the north and south banks of Pangong lake provided a “good basis” to work towards early resolution of the matters yet to be resolved.
“The two sides should continue their dialogue to reach a mutually acceptable solution for complete disengagement from all friction points at the earliest,” the statement read.
The statement also mentioned that the two sides agreed to hold the 11th round of senior commander-level military talks at an “early date” and that they should maintain “stability at ground level and prevent any untoward incident”.
The Indian delegation was led by additional secretary (East Asia) in the external affairs ministry, while the Chinese side was headed by director general of the boundary and oceanic department of the country’s ministry of foreign affairs, PTI reported.
Almost nine months after the standoff began, both countries announced an agreement in February for soldiers to disengage on either side of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh, where the first clashes occurred in May 2020. Thousands of soldiers from the rivals sides have been deployed on the Himalayan frontier since April on the Line of Actual Control. The disengagement process along the Pangong Tso began on February 10, as military commanders began pulling out troops, tanks and artillery from the area in the first step towards full withdrawal. On February 20, India and China held commander-level talks to discuss pulling back from other areas.
Last month, Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi also agreed in a telephone call that the two countries should “quickly resolve the remaining issues” in the eastern Ladakh region.
However earlier this week, a top United States military commander said in a report that China’s People’s Liberation Army has not yet withdrawn from “several forward positions” it seized following clashes with Indian troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh last year.