New Delhi waiting for confirmation from China on the talks that are taking place after a gap of more than three months
India and China could hold their next round of military talks in the next two weeks, two people familiar with the matter said separately on Thursday as New Delhi called for the dialogue to be held “at the earliest" to resolve pending issues related to their border standoff.
One of the two people familiar with the matter indicated that the talks could take place soon and that New Delhi was waiting for confirmation from China on the talks that are taking place after a gap of more than three months.
Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar had met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe on 14 July with both agreeing that the meeting of military commanders should be organised soon.
“The two leaders agreed that the next round of commander level talks should be convened at the earliest, wherein the two sides should discuss all the remaining issues and seek a mutually acceptable solution," Indian foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters in New Delhi.
“There was also an understanding that both sides will continue to ensure stability on the ground and neither side will take any unilateral action that could increase tension," he said.
There were differences between the two sides after the meeting between Jaishankar and Wang in Dushanbe. While Jaishankar said both sides should quickly sort out all pending issues around the border standoff which was negatively impacting bilateral ties, Wang was of the view that the situation in the border areas had de-escalated and the two countries should set aside the issue and expand bilateral cooperation.
Bagchi recalled that Jaishankar had told the Chinese side that “both sides had agreed that a prolongation of the existing situation was not in the interest of either side and that it was visibly impacting the relationship in a negative manner." The Indian foreign minister also emphasised that maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas had been the “foundation for the development of ties" since 1988.
“Attempts to change the status quo last year, which also disregarded commitments under the 1993 and 1996 agreements, have inevitably affected ties. It was, therefore, in mutual interest that the two sides work towards early resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols," Bagchi said.
India insists that there has been lack of progress in disengagement and de-escalation of frontline troops following a preliminary drawdown of forces on the north and south banks of Pangong Lake in February.
The last round of talks between the two sides at the level of military commanders took place in April. Diplomats of the two countries had later met in June.