New Delhi: India and China on Monday decided to expeditiously disengage along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and de-escalation from border areas for “full restoration of peace and tranquillity” in Eastern Ladakh.
The Special Representatives of India and China on the Boundary Question – National Security Advisor of India Ajit Doval and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on Sunday had a frank and in-depth exchange of views on the recent developments in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
During their telephonic interaction, they 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.
“Therefore, they agreed that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity,”it said.
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 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, it added.
On Monday, both the countries have begun disengagement as per their agreed terms in the Corps Commanders-level held last week, sources in the government establishment said.
As per the sources, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were seen uprooting tents and structures at Patrol Point-14 in Galwan Valley of Eastern Ladakh.
“Rearward movement of vehicles of the PLA was seen at the general area Galwan, Hotspring and Gogra,” sources added.
However, specific distances have yet not known.
Patrol Point 14 in Galwan saw the violent clash between the troops of both nations on June 15, which led to the killing of 20 Indian soldiers. The Chinese side also suffered huge casualties but they have yet not revealed any numbers.
Sources said, Indian side is cautiously observing Chinese moves and the situation will be verified on the ground over a period of time.
Following the marathon 11 hours talks between Indian and Chinese forces on June 29, both have arrived at a “mutual consensus” on disengagement.
Corps Commander level talks on Monday last at Chusul on the Indian side were to chalk out the differences on the ground in the aftermath of the 15 June face-off that saw casualties on both sides.
During the meeting, modalities for disengagement from all friction areas in Eastern Ladakh were discussed which would be taken forward by both the sides.
Since early May 2020, the Chinese side has been hindering India’s normal patrolling pattern in the LAC area in Ladakh.
In mid-May, the Chinese side attempted to transgress the LAC in other areas of the Western Sector of the India-China border areas and this was met with an appropriate response by Indian forces.