India highlighted its “strong concern at the massing of Chinese troops with equipment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)”, the de facto border between the two countries, at the meeting between Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on Thursday evening, sources have said. “The provocative behavior of Chinese frontline troops at numerous incidents of friction along the LAC also showed disregard for bilateral agreements and protocols,” Beijing was told.
“The presence of such large concentration of troops was not in accordance with the 1993 and 1996 agreements and created flash points along the LAC. The Chinese side has not provided a credible explanation for this deployment,” the Foreign Ministry told China at the meeting that lasted for nearly two hours, adding that “Indian troops scrupulously followed all agreements and protocols”.
The immediate task, “to prevent any untoward incident in the future”, is “to ensure a comprehensive disengagement of troops in all the friction areas,” India told China, sources said, as New Delhi stressed that an “urgent resolution of the current situation was in the interest of both nations”.
The two countries, at the meeting, agreed on a five-point plan to resolve the prolonged border face-off in eastern Ladakh that included abiding by all existing agreements and protocol on management of the frontier, maintaining peace and tranquility and avoiding any action that could escalate matters.
India-China relations have developed a largely positive trajectory since the “resumption of Ambassadorial level relations in 1976 and holding of boundary talks since 1981,” the Foreign Ministry underlined at the meeting, officials said. While India acknowledged that “a solution to the boundary question required time and effort”, it also clarified the “maintenance of peace and tranquility on the border areas was essential to the forward development of ties”.
“The recent incidents in eastern Ladakh, however, inevitably impacted the development of the bilateral relationship,” Beijing was told.
The Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army(PLA) have been locked in a standoff along the LAC in eastern Ladakh since early May.
The Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) issued a joint press statement early on Friday featuring five points which were agreed by both the sides at the “frank and constructive” discussions by the two ministers.
“The two foreign ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side. They agreed, therefore, that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions,” it said.