Not in Interest of Either: India, China FMs Nod for Peace at LAC

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held talks with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on Thursday.

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World
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File picture of S Jaishankar with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. 
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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi "agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side", and that "border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions", according to a joint statement issued on Friday, 11 September, a day after talks between the two leaders in Moscow.

The five-point joint statement and the meeting between the two on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) event comes amid heightened tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, this time focused on Pangong Tso.

"The two ministers agreed that both sides should take guidance from the series of consensus of the leaders on developing India-China relations, including not allowing differences to become disputes... The two ministers agreed that both sides shall abide by all the existing agreements and protocol on China-India boundary affairs, maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas and avoid any action that could escalate matters," the joint statement said.

An agreement was also reached upon to continue to have dialogue through the Special Representative mechanism on the boundary question, as well as for meetings of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs to continue, the statement further said.

“The ministers agreed that as the situation eases, the two sides should expedite work to conclude new Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to maintain and enhance peace and tranquillity in the border areas.”
Joint statement

‘India Conveyed Strong Concern Over Amassing of Chinese Troops’

Meanwhile, government sources cited by news agency PTI said that the Indian side at the meeting "conveyed strong concern over the amassing of large number of Chinese troops along the LAC", pointing out that provocative behaviour of the troops showed disregard for bilateral pacts.

"At the Jaishankar-Wang talks, the Indian side said the immediate task is to ensure comprehensive disengagement of troops in all friction areas... Jaishankar told Wang that maintainence of peace and tranquility on border areas was essential for the development of ties forward," the government sources were quoted as saying.

An agreement on the five points to guide their approach to the border situation, spelt out in the joint statement issued, was reached between the two leaders at the end of the talks.

China Willing to Support Troop Dialogue & Disengagement

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Beijing is willing to support extensive and enhanced dialogue between frontier troops on both sides and that troops must disengage quickly to deescalate tensions at the Line of Actual Control.

China also said that it is important to stop “firing and other provocative activities” at the frontier that violate commitments made by both the sides.

Maintaining that India and China are at the crossroads again, Wang Yi said that as neighbours, it is ‘normal’ for differences to exist between both the countries. These disagreements, he said, could be resolved if the relationship between the two countries moves in the right direction.

Jaishankar Attends RIC Meeting

Earlier on Thursday, EAM Jaishankar attended the Russia-India-China (RIC) meeting hosted in Moscow. Jaishankar met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, as India took chair of the RIC process in Moscow.

“Attended the RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting hosted by FM Lavrov in Moscow. Thank him for his warm hospitality. India takes on the Chair of the RIC process,” he tweeted.

Jaishankar on Thursday also met Uzbekistan Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and Kazakh counterpart FM Mukhtar Tileuberdi on the sidelines.

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