India and China have agreed to maintain stability in Eastern Ladakh and avoid any “new incidents”, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Saturday, a day after the 11th round of Corps Commander-level meeting to resolve bilateral tensions.
The talks took place at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on Friday. “The two sides had a detailed exchange of views for the resolution of the remaining issues related to disengagement along the LAC [Line of Actual Control] in Eastern Ladakh,” the foreign ministry said. “The two sides agreed on the need to resolve the outstanding issues in an expeditious manner in accordance with the existing agreements and protocols.”
India and China also discussed the withdrawal of troops from other friction points, after the completion of the disengagement process in Pangong Tso. “In this context it was highlighted also that completion of disengagement in other areas would pave the way for two sides to consider de-escalation of forces and ensure full restoration of peace and tranquility and enable progress in bilateral relations,” the Centre added.
India and China said they would continue their dialogue and work towards “a mutually acceptable resolution” of their matters.
Earlier in April too, India had asked China to build on the progress that the two countries had made in Pangong Lake and disengage from other friction areas in the region.
Border tensions flared up in June after clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clashes. China identified the casualties on its side only in February this year, saying that four soldiers died.
The talks between the militaries of the two countries began soon after the clashes. However, a breakthrough came only in February this year as Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh informed Parliament about the disengagement agreement reached between India and China.
The disengagement process along Pangong Tso in Ladakh began on February 10, as military commanders began pulling out troops, tanks and artillery from the area in the first step towards full withdrawal. The process has been completed. On February 20, India and China held commander-level talks to discuss pulling back from other areas.