National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval had had a telephonic conversation with Chinese State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi yesterday. Amid the heightened tension due to the border buildup along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) sounded reconciliatory too. It said that Doval and Wang had had a frank and in-depth exchange of views on the recent developments in the western sector of the India-China border areas.
India and China reached an agreement during the conversation to expeditiously complete the disengagement of their border troops along the LoAC. India and China initiated talks focussing on expeditious de-escalation last week. This happened days after India demanded that Chinese troops pull back from friction points along the LoAC.
Sources said that the proposal from Ajit Doval that the points along the nearly 4,000 km India-China frontier where the exact boundary is disputed by either side should not turn into spots of military conflict was readily accepted by Wang Yi. However, this is not the first time such a proposal was made by India and accepted by China. Every military conflict between the two countries resulted from China’s violation of this long-held agreement between the two countries.
India had sought the restoration of status quo ante in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley and the strategic Depsang plains. This, apart from emphasising the need for thinning the military buildup in the region.
“The two special representatives agreed that both sides should take guidance from the consensus of the leaders that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas was essential for the further development of our bilateral relations and that two sides should not allow differences to become disputes,” a statement issued by the MEA said.
“Therefore, they agreed that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LoAC 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 LoAC expeditiously. The two sides should also ensure a phased and stepwise de-escalation in the India-China border areas. They re-affirmed that both sides should strictly respect and observe the line of actual control and should not take any unilateral action to alter the status quo and work together to avoid any incident in the future that could disturb peace and tranquillity in border areas,” the statement further said.
“The two special representatives agreed that the diplomatic and military officials of the two sides should continue their discussions, including under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC), and implement the understandings reached in a timely manner to achieve the above outcomes. It was also agreed that the two Special Representatives will continue their conversations to ensure full and enduring restoration of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols.”
Chinese Army moves back tents: Ajit Doval-Wang Yi talks succeeding?
In a major breakthrough that could signal towards a possible de-escalation of tensions along the LoAC between New Delhi and Beijing, the Chinese Army has moved back tents, vehicles and troops by one-two km from locations where disengagement was agreed upon at Corps Commander level talks.
According to agency reports citing sources, Chinese heavy armoured vehicles continue to remain present in in-depth areas in Galwan river area. Indian army is monitoring the situation with caution.
The disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan, Ladakh, has begun. “This is a result of intense diplomatic, military engagement and contacts in the past 48 hours,” sources said. These meetings followed PM Modi’s recent visit to Leh where a decisive and firm message was sent out to the northern neighbour.
“India’s responsible stance and message at LoAC has been globally recognised. Those invested in the India-China relationship in Beijing are also of the opinion that the present stand-off should be resolved. India has sent out a decisive message that national security is paramount,” an official said.