New Delhi: India and China agreed to expeditiously resolve the remaining issues of the standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. This information was given in a joint statement on Tuesday, a day after the two-day military talks ended by the two sides. It said both sides held positive, constructive, and in-depth discussions on the resolution of the outstanding issues along the LAC in the Western sector.
The statement issued after the 19th round of the India-China Corps Commander-level meeting did not indicate any immediate breakthrough in the withdrawal of troops at the remaining standoff points in eastern Ladakh. It was for the first time that the high-level military talks on the long-standing border dispute lasted for two days. People with knowledge of the matter said that a total of about 17 hours of discussion were held during the two days. The talks were held on August 13-14 at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side.
The talks come a week ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Johannesburg to attend the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) summit. During the visit, he will have a face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “In line with the guidance provided by the leadership, they exchanged views in an open and forward-looking manner,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. It said, “Both sides held positive, constructive, and in-depth discussions on the resolution of outstanding issues along the LAC in the western sector. In line with the guidance given by the leadership, they exchanged views in an open and forward-looking manner.
“They agreed to expeditiously resolve the outstanding issues and maintain the momentum of dialogue and negotiations through military and diplomatic channels,” the statement said. It is learned that the Indian side pressed hard to resolve the outstanding issues at Depsang and Demchok. A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs after the 18th round of military talks in April said that “the two sides continue to remain in close contact and maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and seek mutually acceptable solutions to the remaining issues at the earliest.” agreed to withdraw.
The government refers to eastern Ladakh as the western sector. Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a standoff in eastern Ladakh for more than three years at some points of the standoff, though both sides have completed the withdrawal of troops from several areas after extensive diplomatic and military talks.
The Indian side at the talks was led by the Leh-headquartered 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Rashim Bali, while the Chinese side was led by the Commander of the South Xinjiang Military District. The 18th round of military talks took place on April 23 in which the Indian side pitched for early resolution of the outstanding issues at Depsang and Demchok.