Indian, Chinese officials will continue meetings to take forward troops disengagement process at LAC: MEA

NEW DELHI: Asserting that India is committed to ensuring its sovereignty and territorial integrity, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that diplomatic and military officials of India and China will continue their meetings to take forward the process of troops disengagement and de-escalation at Line of Actual Control.

MEA's spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, addressing a media briefing, announced that the next meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC) is expected to take place soon.

Srivastava's remarks come as the first phase of disengagement between armies of India and China at friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh has been completed and the talks for the second phase is expected to begin in next few days.

"The diplomatic and military officials of both sides will continue their meetings to take forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation as agreed to by the Special Representatives. The next meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC) is expected to take place soon," Srivastava said during the briefing.

"The next meeting of the working mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs, the WMCC (Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination) is expected to take place soon," he said.

Srivastava said that Line of the Actual Control must be strictly respected and observed as this is the basis for peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

"...our position that recent Chinese claims to the Galwan Valley area are exaggerated and untenable; that the LAC must be strictly respected and observed as this is the basis for peace and tranquillity in the border areas; and that neither side should take any unilateral action to alter it," he said.

"We remain convinced of the need for maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and the resolution of difference, through dialogue, at the same time, we are also strongly committed to ensuring India's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added.

On July 5, the Special Representatives of India and China on the Boundary Question-- Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi--- had a 'frank and in-depth exchange' during a telephone conversation during which they agreed that both sides should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously.

As part of the first phase of disengagement, Chinese troops have moved back from Finger 4 to Finger 5 in the Finger area.

They have already moved back by around two kilometres in the other friction points including Galway valley, Hot Springs and Patrolling Point-15, top government sources said.

The Indian side has also moved back as per the mutual disengagement agreed upon during the Corps Commander-level talks, the sources added. The vacant spaces will be treated as temporary non-patrolling zones by both sides and their troops will not come there.

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