India reiterates its position on China, stating that the relationship is not normal but ongoing dialogues have taken place in both the military and diplomatic sectors. The commander-level meeting held in October resulted in an agreement to maintain dialogue and negotiations through relevant mechanisms, with a commitment to peace and tranquillity at the border. The twentieth meeting of the WMCC saw constructive discussions on resolving remaining issues and achieving disengagement in eastern Ladakh. The two sides agreed to continue dialogue through military and diplomatic channels, with the next senior commanders’ meeting scheduled soon.
Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi, 04 January 24
Addressing the media in his first press conference on January 04, 24, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA India) spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said: “India’s position on China is very well known. It is a relationship, which is not normal, but we have had dialogues both on the military side and on the diplomatic side in October and November. And the idea is that we engage so that we can have some sort of resolution”.
Jaiswal said he wanted to pull out what was discussed “in these meetings that we had in October and November so that I can give you a little more details”
He said, “The commander-level meeting was held in October where there was an agreement to maintain momentum of dialogue and negotiations through relevant military and diplomatic mechanisms. And they also committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity on the ground at the border areas”.
He stated further that India and China also had the twentieth meeting of the WMCC (Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs). “This is at the diplomatic level. We had our joint secretary in East Asia participating there. They had a very good in-depth discussion, constructive discussion, frank discussion and they looked at all the proposals to resolve remaining issues and achieve complete disengagement in eastern Ladakh,” he added.
He said the two countries agreed on the need to maintain peace and tranquillity along the border areas, ensure a stable situation on the ground and avoid any untoward incident. “And then thereafter, the two sides agreed to continue the dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and hold the next round of senior commanders meeting at the earliest to achieve the above objective,” he said.
The 28th meeting of the WMCC was held on Thursday. The Joint Secretary (East Asia) from the Ministry of External Affairs led the Indian delegation and the Director-General, Boundary and Oceanic Affairs, of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the Chinese delegation, the MEA informed.
The two sides reviewed the situation along the LAC in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas and engaged in an open, constructive and in-depth discussion of proposals to resolve the remaining issues and achieve complete disengagement in Eastern Ladakh, the MEA stated in a press release.
They further agreed on the need to maintain peace and tranquillity along the border areas, ensure a stable situation on the ground and avoid any untoward incidents. The two sides agreed to continue the dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and hold the next round of the Senior Commanders’ Meeting at the earliest to achieve the above objective, the MEA added.
Earlier, India and China held the 20th round of Corps Commander-level talks at Chushul as part of the ongoing efforts for overall disengagement and de-escalation to resolve the stand-off in eastern Ladakh. The meeting was held at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side on October 9-10. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the two sides exchanged views in a frank, open and constructive manner for an early and mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in the Western Sector, in accordance with the guidance provided by the national leadership of the two countries, and building on the progress made in the last round of Corps Commanders’ Meeting held on 13-14 August 2023.
The MEA stated that both sides agreed to maintain the momentum of dialogue and negotiations through the relevant military and diplomatic mechanisms.” They also committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity on the ground in the border areas in the interim,” it added.