New Delhi: India and China have agreed maintain 'security and stability' on the ground in the Western Sector and to stay in "close contact and maintain dialogue" via military and diplomatic channels to work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the pending border issues.
"…. In this context it was also agreed that the next round of military Commanders’ talks should be held at the earliest," a joint press release said.
The joint press release was issued following fresh round of military level talks held on Wednesday, Jan 12 at the Chushul-Moldo border. The Indian side pressed for an early disengagement of troops in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh at the 14th round of military talks. The focus of the parleys was to carry forward the disengagement process at Hot Springs (Patrolling Point 15), sources said.
The fresh talks took place after New Delhi had lashed out at Beijing for building a bridge across Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh. Sources said the Indian delegation at the talks was led by Lt Gen Anindya Sengupta, the Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps while the Chinese side was headed by South Xinjiang Military District Chief Maj Gen Yang Lin.
The release said: "The two sides also agreed to consolidate on the previous outcomes and take effective efforts to maintain the security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector including during winter. The two sides agreed to stay in close contact and maintain dialogue via military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest".
Representatives from the defence and foreign affairs 'establishments' of the two sides were present at the 14th round India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting held at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side.
The two sides had a frank and in-depth exchange of views for the resolution of the relevant issues along the LAC in the Western Sector.
"They agreed that both sides should follow the guidance provided by the State Leaders (PM Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping) and work for the resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest.
"It was noted that this would help in restoration of peace and tranquility along the LAC in the Western Sector and enable progress in bilateral relations," the joint press release said.
On Jan 12, Army Chief Gen M M Naravane has said he was hopeful about the 14th round of the Corps Commander level talks. "…..You shall see further developments in the days ahead".
He also said, while there has been 'partial disengagement', the threat has by "no means reduced". The 13th round of talks had taken place on October 10, but reportedly ended in a stalemate.
China shares its 22,457 km land boundary with 14 countries including India, the third longest after the borders with Mongolia and Russia.