The India-China Corps Commander-level talks twice have failed to yield any major breakthrough, with the government on Monday stating that the two sides had “frank and in-depth discussions” and agreed to stay in “close contact” to “work out a mutually acceptable resolution” of remaining friction points at the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.
On Sunday, the 18th round of India- China Corps Commander Level Meeting took place at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side. The Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that “the two sides had a frank and in-depth discussion on the resolution of the relevant issues along the LAC in the Western Sector so as to restore peace and tranquility in the border areas”.
It was reiterated that “progress in bilateral relations” is conditioned to restoration of peace along with LAC in Eastern Ladakh.
The Indian side was represented at the Corps Commander Level meeting by Fire and Fury Corps Commander Lt Gen Rashim Bali. The MEA also stated that both the neighbours had an “exchange of views in an open and candid manner” which was defined by the guidance provided by the State Leaders and on the outcome of the meeting between the two Foreign Ministers in March 2023.
“The two sides agreed to stay in close contact, maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest,” outlined the government. In the interim, the two sides agreed to maintain the security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector, stated the ministry.
Both the countries are said to be stuck at negotiations over Demchok and Depsang friction points with China showing reluctance over taking up these two issues in series of boundary resolution talks held post Galwan standoff in May, 2020.
The previous 17th round of India-China Corps Commander level meeting held on December 20 too did not throw up any action plan for resolution of the friction points. The joint statement issued then after the meeting was restricted to using phrases almost like this time, that both sides expressed their views in “open and constructive manner”.
The wording of the sentences was almost similar. “They had a frank and in-depth discussion, keeping in line with the guidance provided by the state leaders to work for the resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest which would help in the restoration of peace and tranquillity along the LAC in the Western sector and enable progress in bilateral relations,” the statement said after the last Corps Commander level meeting.
For the first time after Galwan face off, the Chinese defence minister Li Shangfu will participation in a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting slated in Delhi on April 27-28.