India And China’s First In-Person Meeting In Beijing After Ladakh Standoff
- The 17th round of military talks took place on December 20, but there was no sign that the remaining problems were getting any better.
- After the war in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, which was the two countries' worst military fight in decades, relations between the two countries went downhill quickly.
India and China had diplomatic talks in Beijing on Wednesday. They talked about proposals for disengagement in the last few trouble spots along the LAC in eastern Ladakh in a “open and constructive” way, but there was no sign of a breakthrough.
During the meeting, which was the first face-to-face talk since July 2019, the two sides agreed to hold the 18th round of military talks as soon as possible to reach the goal in line with bilateral agreements and protocols, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA).
In a separate statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing said that the two countries talked about the good progress made in the early stages of China-India border control and confirmed the results of the separation of the two border troops in the Galwan Valley and four other places.
It said that they talked openly and in depth about the next step of the consultation process.
The Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was set up in 2012 as an official way to talk to each other and work together to keep the border areas calm and peaceful.
“The two sides looked at the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of India-China border areas and talked about proposals for disengagement in the remaining areas in an open and constructive way,” the MEA said. “This would help restore peace and quiet along the LAC in the Western Sector and make it possible for bilateral relations to return to normal.”
“To reach this goal in line with the bilateral agreements and protocols already in place, they agreed to hold the next (18th) round of the Senior Commanders meeting as soon as possible,” a statement said.
The MEA said that both sides had agreed to keep talking through both military and diplomatic channels.
“On February 22, 2023, the WMCC met in person in Beijing for its 26th meeting. This was the first WMCC meeting to be held in person since the 14th meeting in July 2019 “it said.
In the Chinese statement, it was said that both sides agreed to put into action the important agreement made by the leaders of the two countries in order to make the border situation even more stable.
It said that the two sides agreed to build on the progress made during the negotiations, stick to the agreements they made and the spirit of the relevant consensus, avoid repeating situations on the ground, and keep peace and quiet along the border.
Based on the previous agreement, they agreed to meet each other halfway, speed up the resolution of problems on the western part of the China-India border, and find a solution that works for both sides as soon as possible.
The two sides talked about other ways to make things better at the border and agreed to keep working to get things to a point where they can be managed normally, the Chinese statement said.
The Indian group was led by Shilpak Ambule, who was the Joint Secretary (East Asia) for the Ministry of External Affairs. Hong Liang, who works for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is in charge of the Boundary and Oceanic Affairs Department, was in charge of the Chinese delegation.
Ambule also spoke with Hua Chunying, who is an assistant to China’s foreign minister.
The 17th round of military talks took place on December 20, but there was no sign that the remaining problems were getting any better.
In a joint statement released after the talks, both sides said that they shared their ideas in a “open and constructive” way to solve the “relevant issues.” The statement also said that the talks were “frank and in-depth.”
A week before the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Delhi, the WMCC met in Beijing. On March 1 and 2, the Chinese foreign minister, Qin Gang, is expected to attend the meeting.
At the 16th round of military talks, both sides agreed to pull out of Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hotsprings area. This was done in September of last year.
India has been saying that it can’t have normal relations with China until there is peace along the border. The eastern Ladakh border standoff began on May 5, 2020, when there was a violent fight near the Pangong lake.
After the war in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, which was the two countries’ worst military fight in decades, relations between the two countries went downhill quickly.