New Delhi: India is expecting “forward movement” in resolving the ongoing border dispute by engaging China at all levels, with temperatures on both sides rapidly cooling down owing to a series of talks even as the standoff continues at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, ThePrint has learnt.
New Delhi and Beijing are believed to have now established “regular” contact between the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China through diplomatic channels, said a top official who didn’t wish to be named.
“I would say because of our engagement on the military and diplomatic front, there has been forward movement on resolving border issues but this is a process and will continue … That’s why we have diplomatic contacts to resolve,” the official said.
While military levels talks have been going on according to the established protocol between both sides, several rounds of diplomatic talks are also taking place almost on a daily basis to settle the dispute, which has been ongoing since early last month.
According to another official, China is now also facing an “unexpected challenge” with Covid-19 cases growing suddenly in Beijing as infections reach 100. As a result, they are now looking at a rapid de-escalation.
Besides, the official also said that both India and China will like to cool matters down before the Russia-India-China trilateral dialogue that is expected to take place virtually on 22 June between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Chinese and Russian counterparts Wang Yi and Sergey Lavrov, respectively.
Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary Harsh V. Shringla had briefed the Russian Ambassador to India, Nikolay R. Kudashev, and apprised him on the situation at the LAC.
Last week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had said India and China have conducted “effective communication” and have reached an “agreement on properly handling the situation in the west section of the China-India boundary”.
“At present, the two sides are taking actions in line with the agreement to ameliorate the border situation,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying had said.
New Delhi had made public the knowledge about the meeting between the Corps Commanders of India and China on 6 June in the Chushul-Moldo region, which was preceded by a video-conference between Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia), and Wu Jianghao, Director-General in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A breakthrough in the talks looked plausible last week when Army Chief M.M. Naravane said troops on both sides of the LAC have agreed to disengage in a phased manner.
“I would like to assure everyone that the entire situation along our borders with China is under control. We are having a series of talks which started with Corps Commander-level talks which was followed up with meetings at the local level between commanders of equivalent ranks,” Naravane told reporters on the sidelines of the Indian Military Academy’s Passing Out Parade in Dehradun on 13 June.