New Delhi: The next round of the India-China Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination (WMCC) meeting on border affairs is likely to take place this weekend. This follows an understanding reached between National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during the meeting Sunday, in which they agreed upon “earliest complete disengagement” and restoring status quo ante.
The WMCC meeting will take place virtually between Naveen Srivastava, joint secretary (East Asia), and Wu Jianghao, director general of the Department of Boundary & Oceanic Affairs, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The last round of WMCC took place on 24 June.
According to sources, in this round of the WMCC, both sides will focus on the understanding that NSA Doval and State Councillor Wang had reached on the disengagement process to be followed by troops on both sides in a “phased” and “step-wise” manner.
Doval and Wang are also special representatives (SRs) of their countries on the boundary question.
The WMCC framework, established in 2012, was activated last month in the pursuit of a solution as tensions flared at the border. So far, there have been multiple rounds of WMCC. However, the upcoming round of talks will be the first one after the SR-level discussion.
‘SRs had agreed on earliest complete disengagement’
According to the last statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs Monday, “They (India and China SRs) agreed that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity.”
“In this regard, they further agreed that both sides should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously. The two sides should also ensure a phased and step-wise de-escalation in the India-China border areas,” the statement added.
Foreign Secretary Harsh V. Shringla said Monday that India and China are constantly engaged with each other to defuse tensions between both troops who are still engaged in a standoff in the Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control.
He said if there is no communication with that country, then the Sino-India border situation would be much worse.
The presence of Chinese troops has thinned at Finger 4 in Ladakh’s Pangong lake area since Monday, but they continue to occupy a dominant position there.
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