The Indian Army and China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) on Wednesday held two special meetings of border personnel at Nathu La in the Sikkim sector and Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir to boost mutual trust and promote peace.
Both the meetings happened on the Indian sides to commemorate the 72nd Independence Day of India. The PLA delegations, comprising several officers and soldiers, attended the celebration following an invitation.
In Sikkim, the Defence Ministry said: “The celebration took place in an atmosphere of warmth and friendship, with an aim of enhancing mutual trust and promoting border peace and tranquility.”
The two forces had held a similar meeting to celebrate the 91st anniversary of the foundation of PLA on August 1.
“Such interactions between the two armies have resulted in enhancement of goodwill and mutual understanding between the two nations,” said a statement from the Ministry.
Beside interactions between the armies, programmes portraying the cultural diversity of the two countries were presented by both sides on the occasion, said the statement.
Situated at 4,310 metres above sea level, Nathu La — a mountain pass in the Himalayas in East Sikkim district — connects the Indian state of Sikkim with Tibet.
Indian troops deployed in remote and high altitude areas of North Sikkim also celebrated Independence Day by hoisting the national flag at different forward posts with great zeal.
Another Indian Army delegation led by Brigadier V.K. Purohit and Colonel Anil Kumar Sharma met a Chinese delegation headed by Senior Colonel Wang Jun Xian and Lt Col Li Ming Ju at Chushul-Moldo and DBO-TWD meeting points in Eastern Ladakh, said the Army’s Northern Command spokesperson.
“The ceremonial was marked by saluting the national flag of India by both the delegation members. Both the delegations interacted in a free, congenial and cordial environment. The two sides exchanged greetings and vote of thanks and reflected the mutual desire of maintaining and improving relations at functional level at the border,” he said.
“The delegations parted amidst feeling of friendship and commitment towards enhancing the existing cordial relations and maintaining peace along the Line of Actual Control (LAC),” said the official.
He added that both sides also sought to build on the mutual feeling to uphold the treaties and agreements signed between the governments of the two sides to maintain peace and tranquility along the LAC.
The three back-to-back meetings between the two armies in the span of a fortnight follow an informal summit in Wuhan in China between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
India and China fought a war in 1962 and claim each other’s territory. The two armies were also locked in a dragging military stand-off last year on the border.