NEW DELHI — India and China have agreed on “expeditiously” disengaging their troops on the tense Himalayan border, according to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi on Monday.
Indian national security advisor Ajit Doval (pic) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a telephone conversation on Sunday and the two sides agreed that “it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the ministry said in a statement.
“In this regard, they further agreed that both sides should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously. The two sides should also ensure a phased and stepwise de-escalation in the India-China border areas,” the Indian government statement said.
“They reaffirmed that both sides should strictly respect and observe the line of actual control and should not take any unilateral action to alter the status quo and work together to avoid any incident in the future that could disturb peace and tranquillity in border areas,” it added.
India and China have been involved in a series of military and diplomatic talks since their latest border standoff over conflicting territorial claims began in May and led to a buildup of thousands of troops on both sides in the Ladakh region.
The tension escalated dramatically on June 15 when at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a fight with Chinese troops, without any side using firearms.
China has not said how many casualties it suffered in that violent clash.
The Indian foreign ministry statemeajnt noted that further diplomatic and military discussions with China will continue to restore “peace and tranquillity” in the border areas.