New Delhi: Meeting between Indian and Chinese diplomats comes a month after the 13th round of border commander talks ended in acrimony.
After a month-long freeze on Line of Actual Control (LAC) disengagement talks, Indian and Chinese diplomats decided to reconvene talks between border commanders “at an early date”. The decision was made at the 23rd meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) that is led by Foreign Ministries on both sides and comprises diplomatic, border security and military officials. The officials also agreed that they must “ensure a stable ground situation and avoid any untoward incident” in the interim, until the situation is resolved. The 13th round of border commander talks on October 10 ended with an acrimonious exchange between both sides.
“It was agreed that both sides should hold the next (14th) round of the Senior Commanders meeting at an early date to achieve the objective of complete disengagement from all the friction points along the LAC in the Western Sector in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements and protocols,” said the statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on November 18, after virtual talks led by additional secretary (East Asia) Naveen Srivastava and Director-General of the Boundary & Oceanic Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hong Liang, that said “candid and in-depth discussions” were held. This is the 9th round of WMCC talks just in the last year since the Galwan incident in June 2020, compared to the past when bi-annual meetings had been held since the mechanism was launched in 2012, an indication of the seriousness of the situation between the two militaries at present.