New Delhi: India and China Friday held yet another round of talks at the diplomatic level as has been agreed by both sides, and reviewed the progress made in the ongoing disengagement process and agreed on “overall development” of the bilateral ties.
The talks were held under the framework of the India-China Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination (WMCC) meeting on border affairs between Naveen Srivastava, joint secretary (East Asia), and Wu Jianghao, director general of the Department of Boundary and Oceanic Affairs, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“They reviewed the situation in the India-China border areas, including the progress made in ongoing disengagement process along the LAC in the Western Sector. They agreed that it was necessary for both sides to sincerely implement the understandings reached between Senior Commanders,” according to a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
The WMCC meeting was held based on the talks between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on 17 June, two days after the violent face-off in the Galwan Valley where 20 Indian soldiers were killed and several others injured.
‘Overall development of bilateral relations’
The WMCC meeting focused on the crucial phone conversation that took place last Sunday between National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, who is also the Special Representative (SR) on the India-China Boundary Question, and Chinese SR Wang, who is also their State Councillor.
So far, there have been multiple rounds of WMCC meeting, but this latest round is the first one held after the SR-level discussions. The last round of WMCC meeting took place on 24 June.
The MEA statement read: “They also agreed that for the overall development of bilateral relations it was essential to maintain enduring peace and tranquillity in the border areas… As agreed by the two SRs, the Senior Commanders will meet soon to discuss further steps so as to ensure complete disengagement and de-escalation in a timely manner.”
The WMCC framework, established in 2012, was activated last month in the pursuit of a solution as tensions flared at the border.
Meanwhile, on Friday, in his first-ever speech after the Galwan clash, Chinese ambassador to India Sun Weidong said “peace is of paramount importance” and that China is “neither a warlike state nor an assertive country”.
“The right and wrong of what recently happened at the Galwan Valley is very clear. China will firmly safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas,” the ambassador said.