China Talks Of An ‘Agreement’ On Ladakh Border
China on Wednesday said “actions” were afoot from both sides in line with an “agreement” reached with India to “ameliorate the border situation”.
No details of the ‘agreement’ was provided by the Chinese foreign office spokesperson when Easternlink pressed her for the same.
“Through diplomatic and military channels, China and India have recently succeeded in making effective communication and reached agreement on properly handling (emphasis :EL) the situation in the west section of the China-India boundary. At present, the two sides are taking actions in line with the agreement to ameliorate the border situation,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in Beijing .
On Wednesday, Indian and Chinese commanders held a major general-level dialogue which was a follow-up to the talks held on June 6. A series of such dialogues at brigadier and colonel-level are expected throughout the week as both armies seek to de-escalate the tense stand-off lasting for more than forty days now.
This was echoed by the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson at her briefing in Beijing. “Both sides agree to implement the important consensus of the two leaders, avoid escalation of differences into disputes, work together to uphold peace and tranquillity in the border area, and create favourable atmosphere for the sound and stable development of bilateral relations,” said Hua.
This was the first official statement from either country that there had been some de-escalation on the ground in eastern Ladakh following talks between the two sides. However, the Chinese side did not provide any detail on the “actions” it said the “two sides” had taken at the border.
Military sources had earlier stated that the density of Chinese troops at Galwan and Hot Springs had come down from Monday, which was reciprocated by India but thatthere had been no change in status at Pangong Tso, where Chinese troops are on India’s side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
“The talks were productive as both sides exchanged views in a positive atmosphere. Both the armies are committed to end the row through talks,” a senior military official was quoted by PTI as saying.
After Saturday’s talks,the Indian press statement did not give any indication of an “agreement” on gradual dis-engagement.
India had reiterated that the two sides “agreed” on the need to resolve the situation peacefully in line with various bilateral agreements and the guidance of the leadership to maintain peace and tranquillity on the India-China border regions.
But no official statement from India was issued on these de-escalatory moves.
Several other rounds of talks among the militaries are expected to take place in the coming days at the border.
However, there are no signs that China is willing to retract its troops from the area up to Finger 4 in Pangong Tso area , which is well within the territory claimed by India.
It was at Pangong Tso that Indian and Chinese soldiers had come to blows on May 5, along with a similar brawl in Naku La in Sikkim on May 9 .
Those brawls fought like village clashes in South Asia are shaped the tense stand-off with both armies moving their heavy weapons and armour close to the LAC before the de-escalatory moves were kicked off at both military and diplomatic levels.
India has sought a restoration of the status quo ante before the first detection of Chinese troops at Galwan, with the vacation of soldiers from the finger region in Pangong Tso being a top priority.
Galwan is considered strategically significant as the valley into which Chinese soldiers have reportedly entered and erected structures flanks the road to Daulat beg Oldi, the last point on the Indian side before the Karakoram Pass, which marks the border with China.