China, India agree to 'strictly abide' by important consensus reached by their leaders: Statement

K J M Varma

Beijing, Jun 24 (PTI) China and India on Wednesday agreed to 'strictly abide' by the important consensus reached by their leaders and a series of agreements, further strengthen the confidence-building measures in the military field and jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

The senior diplomats of the two countries held 'candid and in-depth' talks through video conference to explore ways to ease the tension along the Line of Actual Control in the eastern Ladakh region after the armies of the two countries clashed on June 15.

The talks were held between Director General Hong Liang of the Department of Boundary and Oceanic Affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Joint Secretary (East Asia) at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Naveen Srivastava.

'The two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on the recent china-India border situation and expressed to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the foreign ministers of the two countries during their phone call on June 17,' a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said here.

The two sides will actively cooperate with the militaries of the two countries to implement the outcomes of the two rounds of military-level talks on June 6 and June 22. The two sides agreed to strengthen communication and coordination through military and diplomatic channels and peacefully resolve relevant issues in border areas through bilateral dialogue and consultation, it said.

'The two sides agreed to strictly abide by the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and a series of agreements signed by the two sides, further strengthen confidence-building measures in the military field and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas,' the statement said.

The Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs between China and India was also attended by representatives from the foreign affairs, defence, immigration and other departments of the two countries.

The talks took place two days after Chinese and Indian armies arrived at a 'mutual consensus' to 'disengage' from all the friction points in eastern Ladakh.

On June 15, the violent clashes in Galwan Valley left 20 Indian Army personnel dead, significantly escalating the already volatile situation in the region. Though Beijing has not revealed its casualty figure, the official media editorials have said that China too suffered casualties.

The Indian and Chinese armies are engaged in the standoff in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh. A sizable number of Chinese Army personnel even transgressed into the Indian side of the de-facto border in several areas including Pangong Tso.

The Indian Army has been fiercely objecting to the transgressions, and demanded their immediate withdrawal for restoration of peace and tranquillity in the area. Both sides held a series of talks in the last few days to resolve the border row. PTI KJV AKJ ZH ZH