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India says will hold more diplomatic-level talks with China to resolve border standoff

A day after commander-level meeting between India and China, New Delhi says it will continue to remain engaged.

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New Delhi: India has decided to step up talks with China both at diplomatic as well as military levels to mitigate the situation and maintain “peace and tranquillity” as tensions continue in the border areas in Ladakh.

Since Friday, New Delhi and Beijing have held two rounds of talks to explore ways to resolve the month-long standoff along several sections of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

“Talks at commanders’ level will be further followed up at diplomatic levels as well,” a top official told ThePrint after both sides held two rounds of meetings at the level of diplomats as well as the military.

On Saturday, talks were held between the military commanders of India and China in the Chushul-Moldo region. The meeting was convened between Lt General Harinder Singh, commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps who led the Indian delegation, and South Xinjiang Military District Commander Major General Liu Lin, who represented the Chinese side.

“It took place in a cordial and positive atmosphere. Both sides agreed to peacefully resolve the situation in the border areas in accordance with various bilateral agreements and keeping in view the agreement between the leaders that peace and tranquility in the India-China border regions is essential for the overall development of bilateral relations,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement Sunday.

The MEA also said both sides will “continue the military and diplomatic engagements to resolve the situation and to ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas”.

“In recent weeks, India and China have maintained communications through established diplomatic and military channels to address the situation in areas along the India-China border,” it added.

Also read: ‘April status quo’ discussed as India, China generals hold 7-hour meeting over Ladakh

Wuhan, Mamallapurm commitments reiterated 

The army commanders’ meeting 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.

During that meeting, both sides had recalled the commitment reached by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the two informal summits of Wuhan (2018) and Mamallapurm (2019) when both these leaders vowed that differences should not be allowed to become disputes.

They also reiterated the pacts that both these countries have agreed to since 1993 aimed at border management and maintaining peace and tranquillity.

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.

Also read: India, Nepal talks unlikely anytime soon as Kathmandu is set to fast-track map changes

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  4. The dialogue should continue at the diplomatic level. The military conversation will be fruitless. We should be mentally prepared for a long standoff and hope only that conflict does not ensue.

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