The Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern Ladakh region has been the subject of ongoing border disputes between India and China. On Wednesday, these two countries met face-to-face diplomatic discussions to resolve these issues. The conversations were conducted “frankly and openly.”
The Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) presided over the 27th round of negotiations for the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) in Delhi. The director general of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Boundary and Oceanic Affairs Department served as the delegation’s leader.
The MEA released a statement that said, “The two sides reviewed the situation along the LAC in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas and discussed proposals for disengagement in remaining areas in a frank and open manner.”
After the Chinese PLA entered territories that India claimed and was patrolling, border tensions between Beijing and New Delhi escalated. By disengaging from the majority of the sites of friction, both sides have been able to lower tensions. Depsang Plains, which India has historically used as patrolling grounds, are still held by the PLA.
“They agreed to schedule the next (19th) Senior Commander’s Meeting at a convenient time in order to accomplish this goal, in accordance with current bilateral agreements and regulations. According to the statement, the two parties concurred to carry on their negotiations through diplomatic and military channels.
The most recent WMCC gathering took place on February 22 in Beijing. The three-year conflict between the two parties exploded on May 5, 2020, at a few locations of tension along the LAC. Following the bloody fighting in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, relations deteriorated dramatically. 20 Indian soldiers died as a result of the fighting. In an effort to ease tensions, both parties have since engaged in a number of diplomatic and military-level discussions.
China’s participation at the highest level is essential in the G20 and the SCO, which India is currently presiding over. All leaders have been invited to the main G20 summit in Delhi in September, even if the SCO will only be convened virtually.