China on Monday said that the militaries of Beijing and New Delhi have agreed to implement the consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping not to allow differences to become disputes.
Speaking on the first top military-level talks amidst standoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying said, “On the afternoon of June 6, a meeting was held between the commanders of China and India in the Chusul-Moldo region. The two sides held consultations”.
“Recently through diplomatic and military channels, the two sides have maintained close communication on the situation along the border,” she was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
“One consensus (of the talks) is that the two sides need to implement the two leaders’ consensus and make sure that the differences do not escalate into disputes. And, the two sides will work to maintain peace and tranquility along the border and create a good atmosphere,” she said.
“So, the situation overall is stable and controllable and the two sides are ready to engage in consultation to properly solve the relevant issues,” Hua added.
On Saturday, 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh held talks with Maj Gen Liu Lin — commander of South Xinjiang Military Region of Chinese People’s Liberation Army — in Moldo in China opposite Chushul in Ladakh sector.
Following the meeting, India’s Ministry of External Affairs on Sunday said that India and China have agreed to “peacefully resolve” impasse between the two military forces in eastern Ladakh region along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in accordance with various bilateral agreements.
The Foreign Ministry emphasised that military and diplomatic dialogue will continue to resolve the situation between the two countries.
“The two sides will continue the military and diplomatic engagements to resolve the situation and to ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas,” the ministry said in a statement.
“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 MEA said.
It (meeting) took place in a “cordial and positive atmosphere”, the ministry added.
Saturday’s meeting took place after around 12 rounds of talks between local commanders of the two armies and three rounds of discussions at the level of major general-rank officials could not produce any tangible outcome.
On Friday, Beijing had issued a statement saying that it is committed to properly resolve the “relevant issue” with India ahead of the key talks between senior Indian and Chinese military officials on Saturday to end the standoff at LAC.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing that “at the moment the situation in the boundary region between China and India is overall stable and controllable”.
“We have full-fledged border-related mechanisms and we maintain close communications though military and diplomatic channels,” he said.
“We are committed to properly resolve the relevant issue,” Geng said.
Meanwhile, even as both sides have spoken of reaching a consensus, a Times Now report has stated that the Chinese Army carried out massive manoeuvres ‘featuring thousands of paratroopers’ in that country’s north-western region.
According to Chinese state media, the exercise, which witnessed participation from thousands of paratroopers, armoured vehicles, and even civilians, was completed within a few hours. However, the exercise demonstrated Beijing’s capability to quickly reinforce People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) troops to step-up border defences.
The operation also involved hundreds of pieces of military equipment as well as supplies, Global Times reported.
The mobilisation comes just a day after Chinese and Indian Army officials held a six-hour-long meeting at the LAC to resolve ongoing tensions between the two countries.
Several areas along the LAC in Ladakh and North Sikkim have witnessed major military build-up by both the Indian and Chinese armies recently, in a clear signal of escalating tension and hardening of respective positions by the two sides even two weeks after they were engaged in two separate face-offs.
The nearly 3,500-km-long LAC is the de-facto border between the two countries.
Indian and Chinese troops have remained engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in several areas along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, signalling that the standoff could become the biggest military face-off after the Doklam crisis in 2017.