India-China standoff: Military talks to focus on creating 'space' between troops, deescalation later
India-China standoff: Military talks to focus on creating 'space' between troops
- Sep 13, 2020
The military talks between India and China will focus on creating space between troops which are currently stationed at very close proximity at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, the government sources have said.
The two countries, which are currently in midst of a border standoff, have agreed to disengage and de-escalate tensions at the LAC. The agreement was reached during a meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on Thursday.
During the meeting, India and China reached a five-point consensus to resolve the issue. The two foreign ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side. They agreed therefore that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions.
According to government sources, the first focus of the military talks would be to bring space between the armies who are currently in an eyeball to eyeball situation. The sources said that the two armies would try to avoid any further friction and once the disengagement is done, then the two militaries can move to the next step of de-escalation and reduction of troops on the LAC.
Both Indian and Chinese armies currently have a very heavy presence of troops at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. The officers of the two troops have been conducting regular talks at the LAC, however, they have failed to come to a tangible solution so far.
The sources said that the meeting between the two foreign ministers will provide political guidance for disengagement.
According to Indian Army sources, the Indian and Chinese armies also held Brigadier-level talks in Chushul on Friday. The meeting started at 11 AM and ended around 3 PM, the sources said.
Jaishankar and Wang met in Moscow on the sidelines of the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) on Thursday. During the two-and-a-half-hour meeting, the two leaders reached a five-point consensus on the issue. The government sources said the five-point agreement will guide the approach of the two countries to the current border situation.
The five-point consensus between India and China is as follows:
1. The two Ministers agreed that both sides should take guidance from the series of consensus of the leaders on developing India-China relations, including not allowing differences to become disputes.
2. The two Foreign Ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side. They agreed therefore that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions.
3. The two Ministers agreed that both sides shall abide by all the existing agreements and protocol on China-India boundary affairs, maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas and avoid any action that could escalate matters.
4. The two sides also agreed to continue to have dialogue and communication through the Special Representative mechanism on the India-China boundary question. They also agreed in this context that the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC), should also continue its meetings.
5. The Ministers agreed that as the situation eases, the two sides should expedite work to conclude new Confidence Building Measures to maintain and enhance peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
India-China border standoff
The current border standoff between India and China started after the Galwan Valley clash in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details. As the talks failed to bring any results, on the intervening night of August 29-30 the tension escalated further as the Chinese troops tried to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong Lake.
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