‘Differences should not become disputes’: China says consensus at military talks on border standoff
China on Monday said the militaries of the two countries had reached a consensus during the weekend talks not to allow differences to escalate into disputes.
In brief comments on the meeting between senior military officers on Saturday to resolve the standoff in Ladakh, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday that the two sides had agreed to implement the consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping not to allow differences to become disputes.
Modi and Xi have reiterated several times including during their second informal summit in Chennai last October that New Delhi and Beijing should not allow differences to escalate into disputes; differences can be managed, they reiterated.
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In the first meeting of senior military officers since Indian and Chinese border troops got locked in a standoff along the LAC in Ladakh, a delegation led Lt Gen Harinder Singh, commander of Leh-based 14 Corps, held talks with a Chinese delegation led by Maj Gen Liu Lin, commander of the South Xinjiang military region, at Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC on Saturday.
“On the afternoon of June 6, a meeting was held between the commanders of China and India in the Chusul-Moldo region. The two sides held consultations,” foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying said at regular ministry briefing on Monday.
“Recently through diplomatic and military channels, the two sides have maintained close communication on the situation along the border,” she said.
“One consensus (of the talks) is that the two sides need to implement the two leaders’ consensus and make sure that the differences do not escalate into disputes. And, the two sides will work to maintain peace and tranquility along the border and create a good atmosphere,” she said.
“So, the situation overall is stable and controllable and the two sides are ready to engage in consultation to properly solve the relevant issues,” Hua added.
The Chinese foreign ministry’s statement echoed the Indian one – at least in tone if not in length -- issued by the external affairs ministry on Sunday.
“The two sides will continue the military and diplomatic engagements to resolve the situation and to ensure peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” the Indian statement said.
That Hua said that the “two sides are ready to engage in consultation…” is seen as an indicator that more dialogue was needed to resolve the current friction.
On Friday, joint secretary (East Asia) Naveen Srivastava of the external affairs ministry had held talks with Wu Jianghao, director general in China’s foreign ministry, through video conference to review bilateral relations, including “current developments”.
This was the first formal diplomatic meeting between the two sides since tensions flared along the LAC.