India and China on Wednesday held the first in-person talks since July 2019 in Beijing and discussed proposals for disengagement in the remaining friction points along the LAC in eastern Ladakh in an “open and constructive manner”. However, there was no indication of any breakthrough.
In the meeting which was held under the WMCC framework, India and China agreed to hold the 18th round of military talks at an early date. The aim of the talks will be to achieve the objective in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements and protocols, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
Issuing a separate statement in Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said India and China reviewed the positive progress made in the early stage of China-India border control. The statement further said that the two sides affirmed the results of the disengagement of the two border troops in the Galwan Valley and other four locations.
It said that both the sides had in-depth and candid talks on the approach for the next stage of consultation.
“The two sides reviewed the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of India-China border areas and discussed proposals for disengagement in the remaining areas in an open and constructive manner, which would help in the restoration of peace and tranquillity along the LAC in Western Sector and create conditions for the restoration of normalcy in bilateral relations,” the MEA said.
“To achieve this objective in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements and protocols, they agreed to hold the next (18th) round of the Senior Commanders meeting at an early date,” it said in a statement.
India and China agreed to continue discussions through military and diplomatic channels, the MEA said.
“The 26th meeting of the WMCC was held on 22 February 2023 in person in Beijing. This was the first WMCC meeting since the 14th meeting held in July 2019, to be held in person,” it said.