India and China will soon hold another meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC) “to take forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation” by troops of both nations at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), New Delhi said on Thursday.
The Ministry of External Affairs said that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had categorically told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in their phone conversation on Sunday that Indian troops have “always taken a very responsible approach towards border management” but at the same time “were deeply committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and security”.
The MEA also reiterated India’s position that “recent Chinese claims to the Galwan Valley area are exaggerated and untenable”. Both nations have been blaming each other for the deadly clash between troops of the two sides at the Galwan valley in the Ladakh sector in mid-June. A meeting of the WMCC had also taken place recently to discuss de-escalation at the LAC.
Both Mr. Doval and Mr. Wang Yi are also the Special Representatives (SRs) of their countries for the boundary talks between the two sides. The MEA reiterated its statement issued earlier this week that both SRs had on Sunday agreed “it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation in the India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquility in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols”. Noting that “one of the key provisions of these bilateral agreements is the commitment by two sides shall strictly respect and observe the LAC, the two SRs “also agreed that the two sides should work together to avoid any incident in the future that could disturb peace and tranquility in border areas”.
On Thursday, the MEA said, “During the conversation, the NSA (Mr. Doval) conveyed categorically India’s position on the recent developments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) including in the Galwan valley area. NSA emphasised in this context that the Indian troops had always taken a very responsible approach towards border management and at the same time, our forces were deeply committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and security.”
The MEA added, “The diplomatic and military officials of both sides will continue their meetings to take forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation as agreed to by the Special Representatives. The next meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC) is expected to take place soon.”
MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava also said, “Let me remind you that in the last few weeks, we have made several statements spelling out categorically the position of the Government on different aspects of the current situation in the Western Sector of India-China border areas. They include our position that recent Chinese claims to the Galwan Valley area are exaggerated and untenable; that the LAC must be strictly respected and observed as this is the basis for peace and tranquility in the border areas; and that neither side should take any unilateral action to alter it. We remain convinced of the need for maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas and the resolution of differences through dialogue, at the same time, we are also strongly committed to ensuring India's sovereignty and territorial integrity”.