LAC must be respected EAM Jaishankar to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi

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Astana : India and China on Thursday agreed to step up efforts to resolve the remaining issues in eastern Ladakh at the earliest even as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at a meeting that the Line of Actual Control (LAC) must be respected and ensuring peace along the border is essential.

In talks he held with Wang on the sidelines of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in this Kazakh capital city, Jaishankar reaffirmed India’s persistent view that the relations between the two sides must be based on mutual respect, mutual interest and mutual sensitivity.

The external affairs minister highlighted the need to redouble efforts to achieve “complete disengagement” from the remaining areas in eastern Ladakh and restore peace and tranquillity to remove obstacles towards the return of normalcy in the ties.

In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the two ministers “had an in-depth exchange of views on finding an early resolution of the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh to stabilise and rebuild bilateral relations.”

Jaishankar also underlined the need for fully abiding by the relevant bilateral pacts and protocols reached between the two sides in the past for management of the border.

“Met with CPC Politburo member and FM Wang Yi in Astana this morning. Discussed early resolution of remaining issues in border areas. Agreed to redouble efforts through diplomatic and military channels to that end,” Jaishankar said on ‘X’.

“Respecting the LAC and ensuring peace and tranquility in the border areas is essential. The three mutuals – mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interest – will guide our bilateral ties,” he said.

India has been maintaining that its ties with China cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border areas.

“Both Ministers agreed to continue and step up meetings of the diplomatic and military officials of the two sides to take forward their discussions to resolve the remaining issues at the earliest,” the MEA said.

“To that end, they agreed that the Working Mechanism on Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) should hold an early meeting,” it said.

It said the two ministers agreed that the “prolongation” of the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side.

“The external affairs minister highlighted the need to redouble efforts to achieve complete disengagement from the remaining areas in eastern Ladakh and restore border peace and tranquillity in order to remove obstacles towards return of normalcy in bilateral relations,” the MEA said.

“He reaffirmed the importance of fully abiding by relevant bilateral agreements, protocols, and understandings reached between the two Governments in the past. The Line of Actual Control must be respected and peace and tranquillity in the border areas always enforced,” it said.

The Jaishankar-Wang talks came amid the dragging border row in eastern Ladakh that entered its fifth year in May.

“The two Ministers also exchanged views on the global situation. The external affairs minister extended to FM Wang Yi India’s support for China’s Presidency of SCO next year,” the MEA said.

According to rough translation of a statement issued in Beijing, Wang said the two sides should view bilateral relations from a strategic height, strengthen communication, properly handle differences, and ensure that China-India relations develop along a healthy and stable track.

“We are willing to follow the series of important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, respect each other, understand each other, trust each other…and explore the correct way for the two major neighbours to get along,” he said.

“We must adhere to positive thinking, on the one hand properly handle and control the situation in the border area, on the other hand actively resume normal exchanges, promote each other and meet each other halfway,” he added.

Stressing that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, Wang said both sides have the responsibility and obligation to inherit and carry forward the spirit of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and inject new contemporary connotations into them.

“Both China and India are countries in the Global South, and we should work together to oppose unilateral bullying, resist the division of camps, uphold the common interests of developing countries, and make due contributions to regional and world peace and stability,” he added.

The Indian and Chinese militaries have been locked in a standoff since May 2020 and a full resolution of the border row has not yet been achieved though the two sides have disengaged from a number of friction points.

The ties between the two countries nosedived significantly following the fierce clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 that marked the most serious military conflict between the two sides in decades.

India has been maintaining that its ties with China cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border areas.

The two sides have so far held 21 rounds of Corps Commander-level talks to resolve the standoff.

India has been pressing the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to disengage from the Depsang and Demchok areas.

The two sides held the last round of high-level military talks in February.

Though there was no indication of a breakthrough at the 21st round of talks, both sides agreed to maintain “peace and tranquility” on the ground and continue the communication on the way ahead.

Source (PTI)


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