Galwan clash: On border row, China says military talks with India made further progress without giving details
China on Wednesday said the fourth round of Sino-India military talks held on Tuesday to reduce tension at the border had made progress in disengaging troops in the western section of the disputed boundary.
The Chinese foreign ministry said it hoped New Delhi would work with Beijing to safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas. The talks, aimed at de-escalation, have taken place in a phased manner weeks after after Indian and Chinese troops clashed along the Line of Actual Control in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh. The violent brawl between troops of both sides on June 15 claimed the lives of 20 Indian army personnel and an unspecified number of Chinese were also reportedly killed.
Responding to a query on the talks, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “As I know on July the 14, border troops of China and India held the fourth round of commander-level talks building on the consensus of the previous three rounds and the implementation of relevant work have reached progress on promoting further disengagement between troops at the western section of the boundary and de-escalating tensions.”
“We hope India can work with China to implement our consensus with real actions and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas,” she said in her short response without sharing details or elaborating on the exact agenda of the talks.
Hua was referring to the fourth round of talks held between 14 Corps commander Lt General Harinder Singh and South Xinjiang Military District chief Major General Liu Lin.
China has so far not shared any detail of the parametres of disengagement the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is following; no detail has been forthcoming from Beijing about how far back its troops have pulled back given the differing perceptions that New Delhi and Beijing have on LAC transgressions.
The two sides had held previous talks to reduce tension along the disputed boundary on June 6, June 22 and June 30.
India is moving forward with great caution in the disengagement process after the worst crisis along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in decades, officials in New Delhi told HT last week.
Troops from both sides have pulled back in a limited manner at key friction points along the LAC since the Special Representatives on the border issue – India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and China’s state councilor foreign minister Wang Yi – held a phone conversation earlier this month and agreed peace and tranquillity along the border is essential for overall development of bilateral ties.
Last week, India again rejected China’s claim on Galwan Valley and said the LAC must be strictly respected.
Following a virtual meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs last Friday – the third since the Sino-India standoff began in early May -- both sides issued similarly worded statements focused on progress in the disengagement and de-escalation process that began last weekend after a phone conversation between the Special Representatives on the boundary issue.
The WMCC meeting was co-chaired by joint secretary (East Asia) Naveen Srivastava of the external affairs ministry and director general Hong Liang of the boundary and oceanic affairs department of China’s foreign ministry.