New Delhi: India and China Friday held a high-level diplomatic dialogue and agreed to “handle their differences through peaceful discussion” in an effort to de-escalate the ongoing tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
A day before Lieutenant General-rank officers are scheduled to meet in Ladakh to thrash out a resolution to the month-long standoff along the western sector of their border, a video-conference was held between Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia), and Wu Jianghao, director general in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The two sides reviewed the state of bilateral relations including the current developments… Both sides also agreed that in accordance with the guidance provided by the leadership, the two sides should handle their differences through peaceful discussion bearing in mind the importance of respecting each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations and not allow them to become disputes,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs after the meeting.
Both sides also referred to last year’s informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mamallapuram, where the two decided that “differences” between both countries “should not be allowed to dominate the discourse”.
New Delhi and Beijing reiterated the agreement Friday, saying “peaceful, stable and balanced relations between India and China will be a positive factor for stability in the current global situation”.
“The two sides also exchanged views on the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and cooperation in various multilateral forums,” the release added.
Channels activated for de-escalation
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had stated last week that India and China will resolve the rising tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) “peacefully through dialogue” even as he ruled out any intervention by a third country.
The statement came after US President Donald Trump stated that he was willing to “mediate” or “arbitrate” between New Delhi and Beijing to resolve the border crisis.
Since 1993, India and China have agreed on as many as five pacts to manage border affairs and maintaining “peace and tranquillity” in border areas.
The pacts are the 1993 Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas; the 1996 Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the LAC; the 2005 Protocol on Modalities for the Implementation of the Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the LAC; the 2012 Agreement on the Establishment of a Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs; and 2013 Border Defence Cooperation Agreement.
Srivastava had said last week that India and China will “remain engaged through these channels” to resolve their differences.
ThePrint had reported earlier this week that India and China are now inching towards resolving the matter amicably as established channels have been activated to de-escalate the situation.