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India, China to hold 7th round of commanders meet for ‘early disengagement’ at LAC

At the WMCC meeting held Wednesday, India and China decided on the military level meeting, as well as working towards the 5-point agenda worked out in Moscow last month.

Nayanima Basu
Representational image | Soham Sen | ThePrint

New Delhi: India and China will soon be holding yet another meeting between senior commanders for an “early and complete” disengagement at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) even as both sides agreed to not send more troops in Ladakh and prevent incidents that result in bloodshed.

The decision was taken Wednesday at the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination (WMCC), said Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs. So far there have been six rounds of senior commanders’ level meeting since the standoff in Ladakh began in May.

“As agreed in the last Senior Commander’s meeting, the two sides are now working to schedule the next (7th) round of the meeting so that both sides can work towards early and complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC in accordance with the existing bilateral agreement and protocols, and fully restore peace and tranquility,” he said.

During the WMCC meeting, it was also decided that it was necessary to “implement the steps outlined in the last meeting of the senior commanders so as to avoid misunderstandings and to maintain stability on the ground”.

Earlier this week, in reaction to a media report, Srivastava stated that India does not accept the 1959 claim line as the border between India and China and that Beijing was made aware of it several times and asked to adhere to the existing border pacts.

During the WMCC meeting, it was agreed by both sides that they will work towards the five-point agenda worked out between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi last month in Moscow.

Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong Wednesday said, “A sound China-India relationship is an important and positive factor in maintaining world stability, and as two great civilizations, China and India can also make great contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind. The informal summit between the two leaders is a milestone, providing a fundamental guidance and charting the course for the development of China-India relations.”

He was addressing a virtual meeting to celebrate the 71st National Day of China.

Sun added, “The two sides should firmly grasp the general direction of the relationship, regard each other as positive factors in the changing balance of power in the world, and manage differences in a more mature manner. China and India have consensus in these aspects, on which we can move our bilateral relations in a positive and constructive direction.”


Also read: What’s the 1959 claim line? The one China says it’s following in the Ladakh stand-off


Jaishankar to participate in Quad meeting, China opposes

Despite the agreements so far, tensions appear to be creeping in between New Delhi and Beijing over India’s participation in the upcoming second meeting of ‘Quad’ countries that will be taking place next week on 6 October in Tokyo.

“There will also be a discussion on regional issues. The Foreign Ministers are expected to collectively affirm the importance of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” said Srivastava.

On the margins of the Quad dialogue, Jaishankar will also be holding separate bilateral meetings with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Motegi Toshimitsu and Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, in which he is expected to discuss the LAC issue.

China, though, has vehemently opposed the Quad meeting, stating that it is against the creation of an “exclusive clique” and that “multilateral and plurilateral cooperation should all be open, inclusive and transparent.”


Also read: These are the challenges Indian Army will face in Ladakh this winter, besides the Chinese


 

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